This week started off with Erica Friedman talking about the Bechdel test and manga.

Alex Buchet wrote about fairy tales and silhouette art.

Ng Suat Tong reviewed Ma Li and Chen Uen’s popular Taiwan comic Abi Jian.

Richard Cook talked about gender in Final Fantasy XIII.

I discussed Alan Moore and the fans who hate him.

I talked about Moto Hagio’s short story Hanshin: Half-God.

And I reviewed Jim Collins’ Bring On the Books for Everybody.

Oh, and I think I’m going to stop with the music downloads. It’s been fun, but there’s not a ton of interest, and I spend too much time on the blog as it is!

Utilitarians Everywhere

At Splice Today I have an article encouraging gay teens to drop out of school.

Nonetheless, I find the message in the videos I’ve seen frustrating. Yes, it’s good for kids to know that things will improve. But high school isn’t a force of nature. It’s not a hurricane, or even acne. It’s not unavoidable. If high school is making your life miserable beyond all endurance—so miserable that you’re seriously considering killing yourself—then maybe you shouldn’t wait two or three years for your life to get better. Maybe you should just drop out.

Also at Splice Today I have an essay about the I Spit on Your Grave remake, feminism, the end of politics, and Funny Games.

The remake follows through on the group dynamics to some extent—the guys egg each other on; they bring Matthew along to lose his virginity, etc. But it abandons the effort to make the men appear like just folks. Ironically, the director Steven R. Monroe gives one of his characters a video camera, and we see some of the rape through the lens. This is an obvious effort to implicate the viewer, but in fact, this version of the story is much less accusatory than Zarchi’s original.

That’s because, instead of seeing the rape as a result of standard male group dynamics, Monroe tries hard to de-collectivize the guilt. In Zarchi’s version, the men were typical guys, and the rape, too, was therefore typical—a possibility for any man. In Monroe’s version, on the other hand, the rapists are individual monsters, a much less frightening idea.

At Madloud, I discuss 15 or so of the 15,000 covers of “Summertime.

This is fascinating, in a Hey! -that’s-Barry-Manilow-defecating-on-my-porch! kind of way. Philadelphia studio musicians turn Gershwin’s mournful lullaby into a giant lounge turd, complete with smooth-jazz intro and half-assed crappy disco cheese funk. For the full effect, imagine Paul Robeson dancing in a conga line with a white shirt open to his navel. Or, you know, don’t.

Other Links

Alex’s post reminded me of this awesome fairy tale resource.

I haven’t seen the Social Network, but the trailer looks terrible. I was pleased to see Jezebel buck the conventional wisdom and eviscerate it.

And this is several years old, but still an interesting article, on sexual harassment online.

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