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.
On the other hand, I did learn how to summon a demon-horse.
My main project on witchcraft trials in England and Poland ended up devolving into a discussion of enchanted wheels of cheese (as I've mentioned before). Highly interesting stuff, but too complicated to summarize here.
Things learned: Studying the history of magic and witchcraft can attract very odd people at parties. Also, graduate students in the sciences will not be very impressed by your choice of subject.
If they were angry about the review it was probably one of my Howard ones, people get very angry about those.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. :(
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.
On the other hand, I'm a dude so I don't make the rules on this.
@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.