Book Reviewlets: The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

You, like me, were wondering. Every night, the salty breezes blowing across the bow of your yacht. Wondering while savoring the peaty elmish notes of scotch.

Scratching your chin stubble and wondering.

What’s the best way to relive the Iraq War?

Through Rachel Maddow’s and Errol Morris’s investigative cinematic journalism?

Through dinner parties where everyone comes dressed as their favorite CNN hologram?

Through nightmares of Abu Graib?

Man. What a bummer. Except for the hologram.

Thinker for Hire, are CNN holograms the only answer?! They CAN’T BE?!?!

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Book Reviewlets: Americanah

The recent decreased frequency of TfH blogging has decreased my life satisfaction.

And yours too, I’m sure.

Onwards.

I haven’t read a single poor review of Americanah, which is curious. Usually there’s some kind of ick or wiggity for a critic to say to distinguish herself from other critics. What’s the point of criticism if you can’t indulge in a small sling of mud? To feel superior, if only for a second, to the slingee?

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Book Reviewlets: How the Dead Dream

When I was in college, a young punk complained, about One Hundred Years of Solitude, “Why do we have to talk about politics? It’s ruining the aesthetics of the novel!”

And my professor–still perhaps my favorite professor of all–responded, “How come no one ever complains that the aesthetics are ruining a good political novel?”

You put your politics in my novel, Lydia Millet.

I know that the apocalypse is happening at every minute all the time. But is that any reason to ruin a perfectly lovely reverse roman-a-clef?

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Crisis at the Bookstore!

Look! That book cover is PURTY. Didn’t that book get reviewed in the Times this weekend?

Should I buy it?

I only sold a few widgets at the widgetmart this weekend. I want the book! But how will I know my widget dollars are going where I want them to go?

Thinker for Hire!

Should I buy this book?!?!?

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Sexism is So Confusing!

I haven’t watched the show, but I skimmed this review. I admire Paskin’s moxie but I find myself increasingly uncompromising about my feminism as I age.

Call this the Girl with the Dragon Truism Theory.

If you have to question whether or not a work filled with misogyny is sexist or if it’s instead critiquing sexism, can’t you just go ahead and call it sexist?

Conversely.

If you want to make a piece of art critiquing sexism, maybe you want to try not to fill it up with women getting abused, mistreated, insulted and exploited?

It can’t be that hard. Geena Davis has some ideas. You could apply them to race, too, and cast a person of color into a central role that was written “neutrally,” i.e. for a white character.

I know that refusing to portray women as prostitutes, sexual abuse survivors, and trophies can risk the bottom line. It’s risky! To cast a black woman as the lead in a show about a doctor.

Risky!

But give it a shot. Maybe you’ll like how it feels to critique society’s dumbness by not being dumb.

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This N That (Late to Brunch)

Hey friends.

Boy, do I miss this blog. Carving out time, if I can, to review the first of this trilogy. Meanwhile, some linkity-loos.

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