April 17th, 2009


The Singer and the Message

My partner Doug tipped me to this amazing video of Susan Boyle singing on "Britain's Got Talent."

Then there was this interesting essay in response.

Well, so. Susan happens to have a gorgeous voice, plus skill cultivated over years of practice. That's something to admire. I surmise that she doesn't have a singing career because she isn't conventionally pretty and thin, and she speaks her mind instead of saying and doing what people expect. I rather admire her, but then my standards for respect are ... nonstandard.

The whole crowd pretty much laughed at her, until that voice smacked them all in the face and shut them up. And you know what? I bet they do that to a lot of people, who don't have the power to snap them out of it. It's crass. It's shallow to judge someone by their appearance, and it's crass to make fun of people. Some audience and staff members may be looking for talent, but most of them sound like they're just looking for an opportunity to be snotty. Nonsense like this is why I don't watch shows like that. I don't find that kind of behavior entertaining; I find it disgusting.

I think the essay assumed that everyone's opinion of her went through a particular pattern, and I didn't see things the same way at all. But Susan sounds like a lady who might be fun to chat with over a cup of tea.

Poem: "Gentlemen in Distress"

haikujaguar and I have been discussing the batch of heroic fantasy gender studies ballads that came out of the April 7, 2009 fishbowl. By this point, you've seen "A Doe in Velvet," "Whistling Girls and Crowing Hens," and "Where Have All the Heroes Gone?/Different Gifts." But there's a piece missing, and she put it like this:

But I was thinking... you've covered girls who want to hold swords, girls who want to be saved... boys who want to hold swords...

But we're missing a set! What about the boys who don't want to be knights? :) The scholars, the gentle, the men who long to be stewards and good servants, but not heros themselves...

So here is that missing piece. It's another epic, but you folks are worth it and the set needs to be complete.

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Gender Studies in Fantasy

I've been having a ball with the discussions about the set of high fantasy gender studies ballads that came out of the April 7, 2009 Poetry Fishbowl. Each of the poems presents, supports, and/or challenges a different set of ideas regarding sexuality, gender expression, identity, and life choices.

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