Monday Stepback: Links, links, links

The weekly links, opinion, and personal updates post

Links of Interest:

Big day. The Osama bin Laden obituary in the Guardian ends:

Bin Laden’s ideology had been a response to the failure of many previous utopic projects in the Islamic world. It had held a brief attraction for some, not least because of the actions taken in a bid to counter it. But most Muslims always knew something essential was missing: the notion of Allah al-rahman w’al-rakhim – God the merciful and beneficent. Bin Laden once claimed: “It is our duty to bring light to the world.” Yet behind his rhetoric of righteousness, divine justice and retribution, there was nothing but darkness.


From Feministe, a reflective post by Jill, Filling the Gaps, on the growing pains of the feminist blogosphere:

I’m as guilty as anyone else when it comes to partaking in feminist Call-Out Culture. Calling Out, I think, is part of any activist’s growing pains. We all want to do right. We all feel like we’re doing more right than some other people who we perceive as having more power (or influence or airtime) than we have. We all want to be a good _____: feminist, ally, woman, activist. Part of that, if you love an idea (and I think most of us do love the idea of feminism, even if we don’t always love how it plays out in real life), is saying something when you see someone else Doing It Wrong. There should be space for that. We should keep each other in check; we should all want to be better.

But in the feminist blogosphere, “calling out” has increasingly turned into cannibalism. It’s increasingly turned into a stand-in for actual activism. We have increasingly focused on shutting down voices rather than raising each other up. Pointing at the gap has replaced doing the hard, often thankless work of filling it.


From the Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog, a May Read it then Pass It Program. Felicia is giving away used copies of Ward, Harris, Moning and others.


Rebecca at Dirty Sexy Books has a terrific post on how avid readers can stay at a healthy weight.

In a way, this post is anti-reading, and it kind of pains me to write it.  On the other hand, I think I was sitting still way too much, and I needed to find a way to make reading fit into my life without making my ass bigger.

I am not trying to steal her thunder, but I went through exactly her process of gaining weight as I started to read and blog, and I even read the exact two health articles to which she links (go read them!). Well worth a read, but then walk around the block — or at least roll your shoulders and point your toes — when you’re finished.


I don’t usually link to the bioethics blogs, but here is post that academics who read this blog may find interesting: From Twitter to Tenure: Using Social Media to Enhance Your Career. They have a schedule of posts on this topic, ramping up to a presentation in Phoenix.



1. Amusing video, Pride and Prejudice in Two Minutes, via Jane Austen Today.

2. Alan Rickman reads Sonnet 130. Need I say more?


I like defending romance against broad brush dismissals, but then I sometimes turn around and do the same thing to YA, as when I wonder, “Why do adults read that?”. I never would have made this connection if it weren’t for Keishon’s excellent post at Yet Another Crime Fiction Blog.


Empowerment Fantasies and the Superhero Movie, an interestingly degendered and decraced (unless I missed the parade of female and nonwhite superhero movies) take from Thought Catalog:

It’s worth asking why people so desperately feel the need to watch superpeople beat up other superpeople right now. I know the first wave of recent superhero films came about following 9/11 at the start of the Iraq War, and yes, we still have the wars in Afghanistan and Libya and all the other places exploding, but I would suggest that this surge in superhero films isn’t due to just war or a recession, but a collective feeling of impotence.


I just discovered, and love, Pop Dust. If you like (or even hate to like) pop music, it’s a fun site. I especially like Singles Bar, interesting reviews of new songs.


At Self Publishing Review, a balanced take on the DRM and piracy wars,

On both sides some surprisingly naive notions reign –
– That we can stop people downloading, just like we can ‘win’ the ‘war on drugs’
– That people will pay for something they can get easily for nothing
– That writers can make their money from live performances and give their work away free
– That you can guilt-trip a young person into giving up their cash to show-biz multinationals
– That free ebooks will promote the paper versions
– That there is some tangible, measurable, marketable or moral difference between a digital original and its copy

… and a reply from Teleread:

And I have trouble figuring out how “maintaining DRM” will “make the alternative less palatable, a hassle for all but the geeks.” You don’t have to be much of a geek to type “twilight epub torrent” into Google.


I turn 42 tomorrow. These monkeys keep me feeling young, though. No big plans, although I see Dooney & Bourke in my future as Mom has insisted on taking me shopping for a new purse. Every purse I have ever owned has come from my mother or mother-in-law. What is it with women of that generation and their purses?

As for the blog … the academic year has ended and I’ve got motive, means and opportunity. Watch out.


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