not in our stars, but in ourselves
1. This week is all about Mad Max: Fury Road for me. I don’t want to read about anything else or think about anything else or see anything else, frankly. Since Monday’s post, I’ve come across two fun new articles extolling the movie’s many virtues, and I recommend them to all of you as well. First: “Wives, Warlords, and Refugees: The People Economy of Mad Max” by Kameron Hurley. Top-notch analysis of how the movie equates slavery (whether of the women or of the War Boys) with controlling the means of production. It also includes some of the only criticisms I think anyone can seriously make of the film: namely, that there are very few people of color, and that the “brides” are all extremely thin (and are, in fact, mostly supermodels moonlighting as actresses). I think the latter casting decision is more of a comment on one of the two extremes that female bodies are pushed towards by the mainstream media (note that Furiosa is undoubtedly slim and trim, but also physically powerful – she’s dodged the body-dysmorphia bullet, it seems, and she looks like she could throw one hell of a punch). I think the former is a valid point, one that I hope George Miller corrects in the sequel (which I really hope gets here, like, soon – I need something to look forward to, goddammit!) Anyway, it’s a great read. Second: “Artisanal Macho: The Clash of Action Stylings in ‘Avengers’ and ‘Mad Max’” by Mark Harris in Grantland. It’s a good article on its own merits, one that shades movies like Age of Ultron for their over-reliance on CGI, and that praises Mad Max to the highest heavens for its “practical effects.” However, I just cannot get over the fact that Grantland – a good blog with good writing, for all those renaissance men who love a bit of sportsball as well as a bit of cogent analysis – included this sentence in one of its pieces: “In the blockbuster era, there’s always been a certain amount of size-queeny it-goes-to-11 posturing in the way we assess action spectacles.” SIZE QUEEN. GRANTLAND USED THE TERM “SIZE QUEEN”!!!!! Amazing.
2. Cannes has egg on its face for being blatantly sexist when the whole point of the festival this year was supposed to be “highlighting women filmmakers” or some horseshit. I’m not even mad. It’s all so stupid, it hardly merits a response (beyond “mange de la merde”).
3. Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have, once more, scalped us all. I have no idea how long this link will remain active, but here’s the video for “Feeling Myself”:
Like…they just dropped it on Monday, no prior announcement, no fanfare, nothing big, just BOOM! It’s meant to be an “exclusive” video for Tidal subscribers only, so don’t expect to be able to watch it on YouTube or Tumblr for long – but enjoy it while you can if you don’t have a Tidal account. Enjoy the obvious shade they’re throwing at the disastrous Igloo Australia/Britney collab, “Pretty Girls” – and even a bit of shade at Taylor Swift’s remake of Sucker Punch, “Bad Blood” (sorry, Tay Tay; also, I believe you’re an action star about as much as anyone else would believe I’m a prima ballerina). The rest of the world puts so much stupid money and effort and retouching into their silly, overproduced videos, and stage ~*~premieres~*~~ (on the internet) – and here are the reigning queens of the universe, just having fun at Coachella and looking absolutely ***flawless in their bathing suits and sharing candy. I am so happy to be alive on the same planet at the same time as these two.
4. My boyf and I talked about Game of Thrones. He is more inclined to trust that the showrunners know what they’re doing, and will use Sunday night’s horrific episode-ender for something worthwhile. I’m really tired of rape being used as fuel for “personal growth” or whatever, because it’s lazy storytelling. ALSO. If they’re just going to change everything and do whatever the fuck they want with Sansa’s storyline, why not this: on her wedding night, she realizes that her new husband is a bona fide psychopath, and that he’s gonna try to do horrible things to her. She also realizes that Littlefinger – to whom she’s been grateful up to now, even if slightly wary of him – must have known this would happen all along, and he set her up for it, and so she’s essentially on her own, so fuck the plan he’s been setting in motion. She slits Ramsay’s throat, either gets Theon to come with her or doesn’t, finds Brienne, and gets the fuck out of Dodge. I realize I don’t know the books or anything, but explain to me how that isn’t 1000000% better than what they did on Sunday!!!!!!!
5. The Boston 2024 people think they can trick us with a new and “improved” pitch. Lord help us all. I think there’s been enough outcry that no one from the IOC would dream of letting us have the games, but…well, strange and terrible things happen all the time.
EDITED TO ADD: Oh my fucking Christ, they’re literally bullying opponents out of being able to speak. This is fucked up. If you support the Olympics bid, I recommend you contact the pack of cunts running it (as well as Mayor Walsh, who’s in deep with the union thugs doing all the shouting and bullying) and tell them that they’re gonna drum up some nasty fucking publicity for themselves if they don’t straighten up and fly right.
6. I’m going to be moving to a new place (an apartment, not Valhalla or anything) in a few months, and I’m getting all excited about decorating. While I know that, in reality, I won’t be able to afford things like this lacquered liquor cabinet (in mint, please, not cream), I am nevertheless whipping myself into a frenzy of unfulfillable longing by looking at things like it. Sigh. I really must start playing the lottery again.
7. If any of you anonymous creeps are actually in/near Boston, may I direct your attention to Transit Diary? It’s a new initiative by the MBTA’s Advisory Board to collect actual data from its riders about how it’s actually doing. I’ve been dutifully recording all my trips, good and bad, and supposedly someone is actually reading about them. I really do believe in public transportation, and am completely disdainful of car culture, so I’m happy to participate in things like this. If it helps them to improve service, great. If not, then at least I’ll have thrown some shade in the management’s direction. Win/win.