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Sunday Morning Paper: praise the mutilated world


You might need this after the presidential debate: A Self-Care Guide to Countering Trump FatigueBitch (December 18, 2015)

In book three, when 13-year-old Harry Potter is fighting off soul-sucking Dementors, a werewolf, who we later discover is a teacher, tells him to eat chocolate right away.  Whether it’s with chocolate or some other endorphin-inducing sweetness, give yourself a moment to acknowledge your body and its need to feel special, especially when presidential candidates are telling you that you’re not.

The Presumptions of ‘Boyfriend’ Clothes: This kind of studied carelessness is another version of a bespoke suit you can’t affordRacked (September 26, 2016)

By the early twentieth century, a woman in beautifully tailored men’s clothes was a recognizable form of glamour, whether Marlene Dietrich’s flawless black tie or Katherine Hepburn striding across a lawn in high-waisted pants.

The trend was, and is, inescapably about social class — whenever images of women in men’s clothes emerge into a mainstream idea of fashion, it’s a very wealthy woman; their wealth and fame protect the wearer, allowing them to publicly act out subversion from within the protective cocoon of money and social status.

Why Diversity Is Like a Mix Tape, Lev Mirov (June 28, 2016)

  1. Are you friends, actual friends, or have you been actual friends, with a person from your decentered character’s background or who shares their marginalization somehow?
  2. Are you writing the book or story with the desire (whether possible/advisable or not) to give it to them with pride to say, with excitement and a little anxiety, “hey, I wrote a character for you!” with the hope of a reaction of “wow! I never see people like me in stories!”?

If the answer of either of these questions is “no”, you need to go change your book or story idea or friends circle until the answer is “yes”.

Books For Life: There is something deeply revealing about the books one truly loves in childhood and adolescenceAeon (September 21, 2016)

When you see an adult who adores Harry Potter, who proudly tells you what Hogwarts house she is in, and explains to you the method for determining your own, you are likely speaking to someone who has felt oppressed by the conventionality of her world, and whose Cinderella fantasy is not transforming from an overlooked child into a princess, but rather transforming from a social outsider into a wizard.

Fiction pick of the week:
Betty and the Squelchy SaurusFireside Fiction (Issue 28)
(Audio version available from PodCastle.)

  1. Closets and under the beds are monster territory. Children may obtain items from the closets during daylight hours, as long as they knock before entering. Items that fall under the bed should be considered lost forever.
  2. Monsters must not be seen during daylight hours. Monsters are free to roam the orphanage at any hour of the day or night, so long as they are not seen.
  3. Monsters may not eat children during daylight hours.
  4. Monsters may eat children at night ONLY if the child (or any portion thereof) leaves the safety of its bed.
  5. Children may ask adults to check for monsters under the bed or inside the closet. However:
  6. Children may not, under any circumstances, request that an adult drag a monster out of its territory to shoot or otherwise kill the monster. Violation of rule #6 will release the monsters from the terms of this treaty.

Poetry pick of the week:
Try to Praise the Mutilated World, by Adam Zagajewski, translated by Clare Cavanagh, in Without End: New and Selected Poems

You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.

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