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Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.

text that says Renay's Section

➝ I have no clue how I missed the release of Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life by Melissa Joan Hart, but I think this means it's time for a rematch of the show and a book purchase. :D

Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet by Amanda Hess went around a few weeks ago. I, of course, operate in the timezone of "FUCK, what day is it?" so I'm only just getting around to it. It's brilliant, and terrifying, and triggering. Warnings all over this piece.

Geena Davis' Two Easy Steps To Make Hollywood Less Sexist. When I first read this article, my first thought about about SF. What would it cost authors to go back through their projects and gender flip them? It also reminded me of a test I used for my own work: take the genders of the main characters and flip them and see how it looks from a different perspective. For me it definitely changed how I wrote. DEAR SF WRITERS HOW ABOUT IT?

Moving The Race Conversation Forward: another great video from Jay Smooth about race.

Post-Binary Gender in SF: Introduction is the first of hopefully many columns by Alex Dally Macfarlane. I just finished The Left Hand of Darkness and I'm trying to get out all my feelings into words, but it's difficult because I'm so often confused by gender discussions. I have high hopes that this column will give me more access to tools to help think more deeply about the subject.

➝ Okay, I am 100% more interested in Maleficent now.

➝ I'm obsessed with these apple pie fries. I'm already dreaming of a cherry/brie version.

➝ Listen to this amazing cover of Toxic.

➝ Would you like some Ancillary Justice meta? I thought so. What do you call a spaceship with a gun and a grudge?

➝ In case you need another reason to check out The Raven Boys and join us in our clubhouse of people screaming internally over this series, check out Memory's review.

➝ Awesome fic for The Raven Cycle: Eight of Swords by Isis. Unfinished business needs to be resolved before Blue and the boys can safely enter the cave by the dreaming tree in Cabeswater.

text that says Ana's Section

➝ I've been thinking about this Slate piece about the potential pitfalls of "do what you love" all week:

No one is arguing that enjoyable work should be less so. But emotionally satisfying work is still work, and acknowledging it as such doesn’t undermine it in any way. Refusing to acknowledge it, on the other hand, opens the door to exploitation and harms all workers. (...) Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life! Before succumbing to the intoxicating warmth of that promise, it’s critical to ask, “Who, exactly, benefits from making work feel like nonwork?” “Why should workers feel as if they aren’t working when they are?” In masking the very exploitative mechanisms of labor that it fuels, DWYL is, in fact, the most perfect ideological tool of capitalism. If we acknowledged all of our work as work, we could set appropriate limits for it, demanding fair compensation and humane schedules that allow for family and leisure time.
And if we did that, more of us could get around to doing what it is we really love.

➝ On a somewhat related note, Chicken Soup for the Neoliberal Soul touches on something that has come a bigger and bigger part of my thinking:
The appeal of individualistic and therapeutic approaches to the problems of our time is not difficult to apprehend. But it is only through the creation of solidarities that rebuild confidence in our collective capacity to change the world that their grip can be broken. Until then, the only thing that the Sam Polks of the world can offer us is a solitary bowl of chicken soup for our neoliberal souls.

➝ I've linked to several pieces that make this same point over the years, but it always bears repeating: Kameron Hurley In Defense of Unlikable Women.

➝ This article on the sociology of why people don’t believe in science is a fascinating read.

➝ Lastly, a companion to the list of LGBTQ movies Jodie links to below: this year's Rainbow list (of GLBTQ books for children and teens) is here!

text that says Jodie's Section

➝ Sapphostication lays out a large list of LGBTQ movies you might want to consider watching.

"On Defending Beyoncé: Black Feminists, White Feminists, and the Line In the Sand" is a really interesting piece about race, criticism as a form of feminist exclusion and difficult criticism from within under-represented communities.

➝ Laurie Penny says that "To save a generation from despair, it’s not enough to hassle them into low-paying jobs". I have to drop a quote I am having emotions about:
Here’s what is notably not being said to the young and desperate: you are more than your inability to find a job. Your value to a potential employer is not the sole measure of your worth as a person. If you can find only precarious, exhausting, depressing work, or if you can’t find work at all, that doesn’t mean you are useless, lazy, or a “waste of space”. [...] The one thing we’re not telling them is the truth: that, however worthless you feel, you deserve to have enough to eat, somewhere to live, clothes on your back and other vital parts, to be loved, to know that you matter. You deserve those things whatever is happening with the economy, because everyone does, because human beings are worth more than their usefulness to capital.

➝ This is an especially useful reminder now because "Benefit Street" exists. I can not bring myself to watch it, but I get to hear a fresh round of poverty shaming rhetoric every day at work now. Yay. I've seen at least one critic say that this show isn't condemning people who use benefits, and you can't control how people react to your creative endeavour, but I am highly suspicious of this program, especially because it's set in the West Midlands (the media loves to criticise us). Has anybody watched it? Can anyone point me to smart criticism about it?

➝ The Rejectionist has started an interview series about writers working while dealing with depression and mental illness.

➝ The new UK series of The Voice has its first genuine disaster of the series. The judges chairs stay motionless during this fantastic performance:

It's possible I am too heavily invested in this song to judge this fairly.

➝ Since Lucy has been done over in the final few episodes of "Dracula", I am turning to gifsets of Katie McGrath as a female Captain Hook to soothe my wounds. Please send more.

Date: 2014-01-29 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] susanhatedliterature.net
Melissa Joan Hart's book came in at work (I'll admit I added it to the buy pile when I spotted it) but I didn't have time to pick it up and read it. My tbr trolley is already half full of books that I doubt I'll actually get to ;)

I remember being a little disappointed by how unradical The Left Hand of Darkness was while reading it, until I remembered when it was written, so I'll have to read that gender column as well. I can't see how to sub to just one author on Tor though, so I've subbed to the whole feed. I'm sure I'll find plenty more reading there.

I haven't watched Benefit Street myself, but one of the women I work with has and she says that half the time she feels frustrated with the participants but have the time empathises with them. I think it probably depends on how you come to the show, but also C4 (right?) and their sensationalist so-called reality tv often isn't reality at all. I quite liked Charlie Brooker's take on it (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/12/benefits-street-poverty-porn-british-fury).

Date: 2014-01-29 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingtheend.pip.verisignlabs.com
I still can't figure out the premise of Maleficent exactly, from either the teaser or this new trailer, but I love that creepy cover of "Once upon a Dream."

Date: 2014-01-30 07:18 am (UTC)
goodbyebird: Angelina Jolie as Maleficient. Good god she is going to rock this. (I may have a smidgen of a thing for evil queens) (ⓕ then you'll be afraid)
From: [personal profile] goodbyebird
Is that the Maleficient trailer? Hah I wasn't interested either, but then clicked the trailer once by accident(tumblr needs to tag accurately grrr). Only got her first line before realizing what I was watching and stopping it, but heh, that first line was all I needed. I bet you have more substantial reasons for your high hopes tho *g*

That Laurie Penny quote is giving me feelings as well. So true, and something that needs to be said.


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