Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 12:38 on 10-07-2013, Arthur B
Gosh, that could be anything. The Straight Razor Cure? The Wise Man's Fear? By Light Alone? Nine Uses for an Ex-Boyfriend? Green?
at 11:44 on 10-07-2013, Michal
It's not altogether positive, but Bradley P. Beaulieu is talking about a review of a relatively recently-released book. Which rules out my lone review, unfortunately.
at 09:18 on 10-07-2013, Arthur B
If they were positive about the review in question it was probably one of Dan's Harry Potter articles because those got spread around a lot by Potter dissidents and seem to have more exposure than anything else.

If they were angry about the review it was probably one of my Howard ones, people get very angry about those.
at 03:28 on 10-07-2013, Michal
FerretBrain was mentioned in a podcast I listened to today. Obviously, my attempt to extract any further information has failed. The whole episode is quite interesting, however, and I do recommend that anyone into book blogging should give it a listen.
at 20:50 on 09-07-2013, Ibmiller
@Robinson - Very interesting! I did like the film, and Fran Kranz is very good as Claudio. Whedon and Kranz do a lot better job of not flinching from what a tool Claudio is, while still managing to keep him sympathetic enough that you don't cringe at the end (at least, not completely).

I think that the Duke is tons better in the Branagh version (well, it's Denzel, of course he is :) And much as I do heart Amy Acker, Emma Thompson just had a lot more interesting line readings, I thought.

I could also be biased because of Patrick Doyle's score. I do love me some Doyle.
at 20:36 on 09-07-2013, Robinson L
Yes, on further reflection, I suppose your enforcers-of-choice would be something along the lines of squads of feral canaries. Still, a takeover is a takeover, and I'm not taking any chances.
at 21:43 on 08-07-2013, Arthur B
Hey, space marines with demon cocks are a Slaanesh thing, and if I were rocking the Slaanesh life I would have way more fun not be spending my quiet moments of commuting/waiting writing FB articles (gnome saiyan?).
at 18:16 on 08-07-2013, Robinson L
Just covering my ass for when the inevitable horde of space marines and demon cocks comes down on us all to enforce the will of the new ferret overlord.
at 17:45 on 08-07-2013, Arthur B
Having too much time on your hands isn't something to be hailed. D:
at 10:30 on 08-07-2013, Robinson L
Oh my God, Arthur has taken over the front page! All hail our new lord and master.
at 22:17 on 06-07-2013, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Well, the question of the identity of gaming's Citizen Kane has been settled by no less an authority than the man himself.
at 21:13 on 06-07-2013, Michal permalink
at 17:40 on 06-07-2013, Arthur B
I always liked Frasier but Laser Frasier somehow makes it even better.
at 20:30 on 05-07-2013, Robinson L
I still haven't seen Much Ado, but I did just have a conversation with my younger sisters, one of whom has apparently become a Shakespeare nut over the past 3-4 months, and she said I absolutely must see the Whedon version.

It sounds like they actually liked this one significantly more than Branagh's - I think the biggest reason given was that she felt Whedon was much more faithful to one of the characters; Claudio, I believe.
at 19:12 on 02-07-2013, Alice
@Cheriola: I can't say I've come across those terms in any feminist spaces, but then again I also haven't been reading anything where sex work has been the topic of discussion lately. So I'm basically as confused as you are, sorry!

Re: that convoluted paragraph of Jacob Clifton you quoted, I think he's trying to say "if I go out of my way to look nice purely so as to boost my self-esteem, you'd damn well better notice/pay attention/appreciate it", but who knows. He'd already lost me at "[safely] revel in our appeal as objects", so I wasn't inclined to spend much energy parsing the rest of the quote.
at 18:30 on 02-07-2013, Robinson L
I'm not familiar with that particular reviewer, but my sense of "That Guy With the Glasses" contributors in general is that they tend to be well meaning but a bit clueless, and I'll occasionally run into something of theirs which I consider sexist/racist/heterosexist/or something just out of convention.

I've also noticed that different people in different contexts have very different standards for what counts as acceptable discourse. Many of the feminists in my life whom I regard the most highly use and happily tolerate in others gendered language which I wouldn't dream of engaging in. So I guess people have very different standards of how important politically correct language is.

... Basically, I think what I'm trying to say here is that I'm as confused as you are.

"I do just think that when we are given the opportunity to safely revel in our appeal as objects without having to pay any consequences -- to put gas in the tank of self-esteem, for free -- it's kind of your duty to follow up. It's like, everybody knows when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it, that pisses God off. But I think in certain circumstances, boners are the same way."

I can't even work out what that's supposed to mean, but just from the way the argument is made I'm feeling pretty leery.
at 14:13 on 02-07-2013, Arthur B
The Jacob Clifton stuff just looks crass, I agree.

Couldn't watch more than three seconds of the vampire reviewer video because I have a generalised dislike of/allergy to review sites where the reviewers play wacky whimsical characters!!! so I can't help there, sorry. :(
at 14:07 on 02-07-2013, Cheriola
@Arthur: No, it wasn't about discussing tropes, it was used as a label for the profession. One recent example was this review of "Byzanthium". (The over the top goth shtick is a style thing that most of the reviewers on that site employ. They review while 'in character' as someone not identical to the actual reviewer person. Doesn't explain the choice of words in this case, though.)

The other is the various "True Blood" and "Defiance" episode recaps by Jacob Clifton on TV Without Pity. Such as in this one, where he insists on calling the brothel in the show a "whorehouse", which sticks out especially because the show - while clearly being about male wishfullfilment with regards to the prostitute characters - goes out of its way to make the main prostitute/madame empowered as hell and no sympathetic character ever calls her a slur (unlike in Firefly). (In fact, I can't remember any character other than the angry wife of one client, and for a brief moment her sister (who is the mayor, and usually totally supportive), saying anything critical about the profession in and of itself. This is supposed to take place after a huge social upheaval, after all, and the adult human characters would have grown up in the middle of these discussions right now.) In "True Blood" recaps, he usually calls all characters enganged even tangentially in sex work "hooker". And while one of these characters does use the term as an endearment himself (because it's African American and/or gay slang?), it still feels like deliberately disparaging to me when he's talking about walk-in extras. (The extra in that scene was basically hiring herself out as "meals on wheels" for vampires, but dressed up like a sex worker and with the clear implication that sex could be had for some extra cash, too. But she didn't call herself a "whore" or a "hooker", that's just the recapper putting supposedly funny words in her mouth.)

Though I've just read his latest "True Blood" opus, which also involved the words "retard", "bitches" and "QUILTBAG mess", as well as justifying female fanservice objectification with "I do just think that when we are given the opportunity to safely revel in our appeal as objects without having to pay any consequences -- to put gas in the tank of self-esteem, for free -- it's kind of your duty to follow up. It's like, everybody knows when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it, that pisses God off. But I think in certain circumstances, boners are the same way."
So by now I've decided that this guy, for all his protestations of having grown up in a feminist household and being queer and supposedly having liberal values, is really just an entitled hypocrite who has a couple of pet issues that touch him personally, but who wouldn't recognise intersectionality if it bit him in the ass.

That still leaves me confused with the first example, though.
at 12:27 on 02-07-2013, Arthur B
@Cheriola: Can I see some context for the particular examples you have in mind? I can see using "whore" or "hooker" in a review if it's in the context of something like "(Author) portrays all women as being either perfect, unattainable angels or depraved, thrill-seeking whores, with a select few characters oscillating between those two poles". I wouldn't say it's offensive there because you're not using the word in reference to a real live human being, you're describing fictional characters as being constructed according to a nasty, misogynistic blueprint, or saying that the author seems to be viewing the characters through a Madonna/whore sort of lens.

On the other hand, I'm a dude so I don't make the rules on this.
at 11:00 on 02-07-2013, Robinson L
@Cheriola: Interesting question. I guess I'm not particularly in touch with current feminist thinking on this topic, so mine is hardly an informed opinion. (For whatever it's worth, I also tend to be more sensitive about politically correct language than most of my peers.) That established, my immediate mental reaction would be to classify the word "whore" as a slur, whereas I tend to think of the word "hooker" as a more neutral term. Again, though, that's just my visceral take and I could be completely off.

@Ibmiller: Nah, haven't seen it yet, and unless one of my friends organizes collective theater trip (unlikely) I probably won't until it hits DVD.

@Shimmin: That sucks. Sorry to hear about it. Hope things clear up with the new monitor.
at 08:12 on 02-07-2013, Shim
Curses. Attempts to finish The Witcher, and thus produce an article, have been further delayed by my monitor frying itself last night. The computer itself may or may not be okay, but until I get a new monitor, it's hard to say.
at 05:58 on 02-07-2013, Bookwyrm
"There is indeed a book entitled Ass Goblins of Auschwitz."
Huh. I guess I'll file that under:
"Words I never thought I'd see in the same sentence"
at 21:28 on 01-07-2013, Michal
Today in "Things Michal Learned Today He Wished He Didn't":

There is indeed a book entitled Ass Goblins of Auschwitz.

at 02:34 on 01-07-2013, Ibmiller
So, just saw Much Ado About Nothing last night, and while it was fun and charming, I missed the Branagh version with pretty much every line. Anyone else catch it yet?