This book simultaneously highlights what is good and what is bad about the white tower of academia. It explores a specific topic (Amazon Afiliate link) in depth, while establishing absolutely nothing, other than the need for more research. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and received no compensation for my honest opinion.
I’m going to start with my frustrations with the book (or academia/academics in a broader context) first and then move to what they did well. What frustrated me most about the entire collection were the isolationist tendencies of the authors. In a move to over-compensate for any sort of collective or global identity (and not Western-wash everything) every single paper started out within the first few paragraphs by using the almost exact phrase of, “due to cultural circumstances, male sex workers (MSWs) circumstances in this country cannot be compared to those in any other country.” The reason this was so infuriating is that there were clearly overarching themes, sexual identity (or lack thereof), technology and public health, to name a few, that Manichiello and Scott picked out and even acknowledged. However, rather than encouraging the authors to use them to tie everything together within the papers across borders and identities, they were used to bridge each of the papers between the papers in editorial asides. Seriously, if they would’ve just taken this as a given, at least 50 pages could’ve been cut out of the book due to repetitiveness.
Note: This episode is going live early due to the holidays, traveling and the potential delay with iTunes uploading.
Welcome to Episode 3 of Come Read With Me, where my friend Patrick and I dive into Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopia A Handmaid’s Tale. Patrick agreed to be on the podcast before he even knew what the podcast was about and when I called him he was ready. I gave him a really long list of books to choose from and he chose perfectly! (His original choice was Twilight but that was reserved and will be Episode 4). If you’ve never read it you should read it, really just read all Atwood as she’s amazing.
In addition to Atwood we spoke about a wide variety of authors and Patrick’s love of creating Twitter bots. Check Patrick out on Twitter @lightaesthetic and check out his website to see some of the awesome games he’s putting together in his spare time.
As promised I’ve finally edited and posted Episode 2 of Come Read With Me! My guest this episode is my friend Caitrin and we discuss Abigail Reynold’s The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice which I wrote about back in January! Thankfully, there weren’t any technical issues this time.
By far the highlight of this episode, apart from all the general Austen love, is about nine minutes in when I realize I misspoke about my favorite Jane Austen novel. It’s a good thing it wasn’t later in the podcast (aka later in the bottle of wine) or I might’ve cried! From pick up lines and my confusion over Colin Firth and Colin Farrel to Caitrin’s adoration of Sense and Sensibility and the Classics Club, nothing is off-limits.
I planned to start with the ridiculous movie theater I went to, but why not just go in order?
If you remember back in March I went to see a live taping of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale and how much fun I had, you’ll appreciate this. When I found out a few months ago one of my favorite podcasts, Throwing Shade, was coming to Boston I immediately bought tickets! The original plan was that Caroline, Hayley, a TBD friend and I would go. I mean it’s a comedy podcast dealing with politics and pop culture, of course it would be AMAZING.
I’m now 1/10th of the way through my 30 x 30 list, and have made plans for two more already (see a comedian and visit Tara in NYC). If you don’t follow me on Twitter, you missed a treat as I crazily tweeted the six Star Wars films for May the Fourth (be with you) yesterday. Towards the end of the night when I was starting to lose it I created the hashtag #SassyYoda and we discussed the idea of #SassWars, a parody and/or YouTube channel which dubs sassy commentary (a la drag queens or teenage girls) over some of the epic shade throwing scenes throughout the series. Yeah, it was a rough last hour, but I made it.
What I found most challenging about the day was how exhausting and uncomfortable it was to sit through and pay attention to six full length movies. I somehow managed to (mostly) time myself while in front of the TV and it came in at just over 12.25 hours, but with breaks it was closer to 14 hours. I seriously wonder if I listed this one in the wrong place. It’s listed under relaxing, but after yesterday, I’m thinking it should’ve been classified as physical, because by the end of the day I was physically sore and mentally exhausted.
Most of this post will be about my awesome Nerd Weekend with Pax East 2014 and Captain America, but to start I’ll pretend to be much artsier than I really am.
If you’ve followed this blog for a while you know I’m obsessed with miniature street art. More recently I’ve been focusing on text and wondering whether text is art and if not where do they merge/diverge. I’m guessing this comes from starting to listen to the 99% Invisible podcasts a few weeks ago. A few weeks before I started listening I had to go to Lowell, MA for the a day long conference (which was actually a lot of fun) and one of the first things I noticed in this former industrial town was all of the text: old industrial signs, old advertisements, building/company sings and street signs. And then I just happened to look down at the cross walk (I was looking for the ridged spinning thing for blind people) and I noticed the above text. And I just thought it was kind of cool and even though it’s totally practical, it’s become a part of public space and to me is a type of art! And now for the nerdiness!
If I thought last month was Cultural, this month was an explosion. Seriously I started the day after I posted the February Culture Corner and haven’t stopped. From Oscar movies and video games to live theater and seeing podcasts live, you name it and it feels like I did it! At the very least look at the pictures and if you see something cool read that paragraph, sorry the post is so long! I’m still exhausted from the month.
I’m not sure why I didn’t include my visit to the movies to see August: Osage County in last months’ blog post, perhaps because I was momentarily obsessed with Frozen? Either way it worked out as I saw The Dallas Buyers Club the weekend after that posted. And what do they all have in common? The Oscars! I so rarely see Oscar nominated films, but these three I knew I wanted to see and I’m so glad I did. Both August: Osage County and The Dallas Buyers Club left me emotionally drained, but they are definitely worth seeing. I still can’t get over how much weight Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey lost for the films! And what was the most interesting part of the film is that it shows a part of the AIDS epidemic that isn’t often highlighted.