Thursday, October 2, 2014

On 'speaking white' and 'speaking middle class'

The debate over 'speaking white' is about a black woman who objected to the phrase "speaking white". She insists it's just "speaking proper". What she misses is that "proper" is what the local ruling class speaks, and working-class white people tend to have an accent and grammar that's not the same. If a black person talked like the traditional Bronx cabbie or Mississippi "white trash", they might be "speaking white", but that's not what people who talk about "speaking white" are trying to say. They're not talking about race betrayal. They're talking about class betrayal.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Nichelle Nichols on her Star Trek costume

BBC Online - Cult - Star Trek - Nichelle Nichols:
How did you feel about your costume. It was very revealing.
So? I was wearing them on the street. What's wrong with wearing them in the air? I wore 'em on airplanes. It was the era of the miniskirt. Everybody wore miniskirts. It amazes me that people still make some remark about 'the revealing'. They revealed nothing. I had long black stockings on and boots up to my knees and the skirts and panties on and a skirt that gave you freedom to move in, - so what? It amazes me because everything is more revealing today on the street than those costumes.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The first sentence at the HeForShe site is false

The first sentence at HeForShe: "The movement for gender equality was originally conceived as a struggle led by women for women."

Someone's lying or ignorant. The word "feminism" was coined by a man, the utopian socialist Charles Fourier. First and second wave feminism could have better been called egalitarian or equalist or, as Dora Montefiore argued in 1901, humanist movements. Feminism was simply about equality, and that has always been an issue which crosses lines of social identity. Feminism would never have had its first great victory if men had not voted to give women the vote.

Feminism only became a movement "by women for women" with the birth of identitarian feminism in the late '60s, when some feminists changed their focus from sex and society to gender and society.

PS. For anyone confused by the difference between sex and gender, I like WHO's explanation:
  1. "Sex" refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. "Gender" refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.
ETA: Though I wish Emma Watson had talked about egalitarianism instead of feminism, I liked her speech for the same reasons MRAs and SJWs are criticizing it—she was basically arguing for egalitarianism under the name of feminism, so gender partisans hated it. Here's an example from a professional SJW (note her bio's link to how to pay her to educate you): Why I’m Not Really Here For Emma Watson’s Feminism Speech At the U.N.

ETA 2: The site includes a nice quote from the speech:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The difference between H. P. Lovecraft and the I.W.W.

The Old Racist from Providence |: "The workers of the I.W.W. were equally as ‘of their time’ as HPL and yet they did not express such vile opinions of people."

You just gotta love the I.W.W.

As for Lovecraft, I think anyone who's seriously interested in fantasy or supernatural horror should read at least one story by him, but that's no reason for him to be the face of the World Fantasy Award.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My favorite movies: Strictly Ballroom

Just saw Strictly Ballroom again. Afterward, Emma said, "It's the best arts movie and the best sports movie ever." IMDB only gives it 7.3 out of 10, but Rotten Tomatoes rates it at 95%, which seems about right to me. Baz Luhrman's one of those great directors who can create an artificial world that's emotionally real, and this is my favorite movie of his. Though I think we'll be rewatching Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet sometime soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Secret of the Incas

Just saw Secret of the Incas, the main inspiration for the Indiana Jones movies. I liked it more than I should've, given the erratic script, but I had fun mapping the characters on Casablanca and imagining the 1940s black-and-white version:

Humphrey Bogart as the lead.
Ingrid Bergman as the romantic sidekick.
Peter Lorre as the commie diplomat.
The main antagonist could've been played by Sydney Greenstreet, but given the character, would've been better played by Claude Rains.

It really is a flawed script. I liked the first part best. The second part needed more bad guys. Still, it's an interesting attempt to fuse film noir with pulp adventure, and Lucas and Spielberg ought to be more forthright about their inspiration. Charlton Heston's Harry Steele is to Harrison Ford's Indy what Michael Keaton's Batman is to Christian Bale's.

If you share my interests, it's prob'ly 3.5 stars out of 5, not a must-see but not a must-avoid either. It's available on Netflix in 10 parts:

Warning: the Yma Sumac musical interludes are just bizarre.