I have come across a lot of interesting links of late, so here is a linkdump:
Sherwood Smith points out this post by livejournal user blairmacg who wonders whether the rise of social media is bringing about a resurgence of the omniscient point of view. There’s also some fascinating discussion going on in the comments at both places.
Sherwood Smith also has a good post and discussion about good taste and what constitutes the same over at the Book View Café.
At The Rejectionist, Kat Howard has a wonderful post about putting women in the story. Found via Charles Tan.
The most depressing thing is that I can easily imagine all the “But why are there no men in this story?” comments, when there would have been a lot fewer comments about a story with no female characters. It’s the same reaction I get whenever I say, “Well, I make an effort to read at least two or three books by male authors per year”, while absolutely no one would question someone saying that they make an effort to read two or three books by women per year.
At AMC, John Scalzi writes about V for Vendetta, the Occupy movement and the symbolism, intended and unintended, of the Guy Fawkes masks. Around this time, I tend to teach the story of Guy Fawkes for obvious reasons. I usually mention the film version of V for Vendetta and most of the time, none of those teen action film addicts has ever seen the film. This year, mentioning the Occupy connection, I was also stunned that none of the kids had seen the Guy Fawkes masks on the TV news or knew anything about the protests at all. Yes, I know I should stop being shocked at the gross political ignorance of teenagers.
Here is a very interesting article from the Guardian which attempts to find a connection between Occupy London and Downton Abbey. The link between the two is very tenuous IMO – it basically says that the British aristocracy should side with the Occupy movement, because bankers are so gauche and nouveau riche, whereas I doubt that the Occupy movement would welcome the support of an elitist snob like Julian Fellows.
But between the lines, the article also expresses my biggest issue with Downton Abbey beyond the fact that it’s basically reheated 1970s leftovers of Upstairs, Downstairs, namely the fact that writer/creator Julian Fellows seems to agree with the arrogance and snobbery of his aristocratic protagonists and that he really seems to believe that the aristocratic characters are superior to the servant characters (something that Upstairs, Downstairs never did by the way), let alone the upstart, “actually worked to earn their own money” nouveau riche characters, And frankly, I find this attitude very anti-democratic and disturbing coming from someone who has grown up in a western country.
Never mind that snobbery about whether people buy their own furniture or live with heirlooms is just silly, since it’s as much a matter of money (show me one student who doesn’t live with hand-me-downs and IKEA) and taste as of birth and social status. Right now, I am sitting in a room outfitted with heirloom mid-century modern furniture, which I actually inherited from relatives, and yet this tells you nothing about my social status or birth or whatever. It just tells you that I happen to like mid-century modern furniture and believe the quality is superior to the stuff you can buy at IKEA today.
The Atlantic has an interesting article about how the trend towards having famous actors and celebrities voice cartoon characters got started. This is not a trend I like at all and indeed the beginning of the trend coincides with the point where I started losing all interest in animation. Celebrities are not necessarily good voice actors, while good voice actors are often not very well known (though I know who Frank Welker and Nancy Cartwright are).