“The greatest fortune that can befall an author is not to be read, a painter not to be seen, or to be seen with haste, like on those horrendous group museum tours: as long as the work is talked about, obviously. Or, if they see you, if they read you, you’re fortunate to be misunderstood. If they understand you, no one will think you’re right; if they don’t understand you, everyone will project onto you their inchoate desires, their secret dreams. And your success is assured.”—Paul Klee, explaining to a writer the benefits of not being read, from Giovanni Orelli’s Walaschek’s Dream (trans. by Jamie Richards). (via writersnoonereads)
So why do so many writers seem to get away with such poor portrayals? If the audience is as smart as all that, why does this perpetuate? It’s not that they don’t care, nor even that they don’t mind. More than any other reason, I think, it sadly comes down to this: it’s what they’ve come to expect. It is, as the saying goes, par for the course. Or to put it in a worse light, when we fail to demonstrate the appropriate respect, we’re living down to their worst expectations.
Gender isn’t simply a biological trait; it’s a societal one. The female experience is different from that of the male, and if, as a male writer, you cannot accept that basic premise, then you will never, ever, be able to write women well. A man walking alone through Midtown Manhattan at three in the morning may have concerns for his safety, but I promise you, it’s a very different experience for a woman taking the same walk, and it’s different again for a man wearing a dress. Think about it. That’s a societal factor, and it’s a gendered one, and this is not and can not be subject to debate. If you’re looking to argue that sexism is a thing of the past, that the world is gender-blind, you’re not only wrong, you’re lying to yourself.
“One must be pitiless about this matter of “mood.” In a sense, the writing will create the mood. If art is, as I believe it to be, a genuinely transcendental function—a means by which we rise out of limited, parochial states of mind—then it should not matter very much what states of mind or emotion we are in.”—Joyce Carol Oates
“5. In some inevitable shift of the time-space continuum in which James Cameron continues to rob humanity of all that is good and sacred in this world, Fern Gully will be known as that movie that ripped off Avatar. It will be up to us to crusade for what is right. It is up to us to explain that Fern Gully was not only a predecessor to Avatar, but far better, in that it contained both Tim Curry as a singing pile of molasses and Robin Williams rapping about animal testing in the pharmaceutical industry. (As a side note, if you have not recently listened to the full lyrics of the “Batty Rap,” I recommend you do, as they are horrifying.)”—
…or maybe this guy just wants to sell books. You know….if authors are so keen on doing their own serial killer research, perhaps they could focus on current cases and actually help the police.
Or not. They could just continue making money off their harebrained theories that are completely circumstantial. Doesn’t matter to me. And I doubt it matters much to Mary Kelly and her prostitute friends.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the words “fuck whitey” on my dashboard in the last month. I guess I missed the memo stating that being white automatically makes you a racist. I’m tired of seeing hatred being spread and everyone arguing over who is stealing who’s culture.
“Dog-lovers are convinced their dogs know what they’re feeling. Honestly, I’m on the fence about that. Maybe that’s because of my own dogs. Skeptics out there — a.k.a. cat people — think dogs are just good actors. I don’t think it’s quite like that. But how far it goes, I’d love to figure out.”—