Going to Cuba, I heard plenty from others who had been there before: the people are wonderful and it is a land stuck in time; be sure to get pictures of the cars and cigars! I'm glad visitors like the Cuban people--they may be talking about my family after all--but they're people just like in any other part of the world. I wince at every reporter playing Columbus at the sight of our cars and cigars. My Cuba is more than an idealized postcard. It is a real place full of beauty and pain, of want and generosity. I knew I could never go back to the Cuba my parents left; time and scarcity have seen to that. But I wanted to see what's left of my roots: my family that has never seen me in person and the one-screen movie theaters I heard so much about growing up. The ones where my mom would see her first Disney movies, Japanese samurai films, French comedies, cheap Italian spy flicks and Soviet period melodramas. They're all still there.
Diversity, Discrimination, Hollywood: Of Fear and Fake Diversity by Lexi Alexander.
So, good news....I'm ready to answer the question as to whether or not I have seen any changes: Yes, but none of them are good, some could eventually backfire and the vast majority are the usual fake diversity campaigns.
I'm not saying there aren't people who take diversity and inclusion seriously, they do exist. I've had dozens of meetings over the past couple of months (courtesy of my amazing manager and a team of new high performance agents). These meetings are set up for me to talk about directing and developing TV, but nowadays almost everybody brings up an article I've written about women directors or my diversity activism on Twitter (more than a few times now I've been elevated to VIP status with an important executive because either one of their family members, friends or children follows me on Twitter...which is quite amazing if you consider the wider connotation).
Movies, Sexism, Racism: Fuck You, Spike Lee by Ijeoma Oluo.
Here we were, the most antisocial people in the writing world, reaching out to share the pain we had just experienced. The pain of Chi-Raq, Spike Lee's ambitious new film tackling inner-city Chicago violence through the power of the pussy (I wish I were exaggerating, but it's based on the ancient Greek play Lysistrata). A fucking horrible film. This film is so bad, that even after 20 minutes of commiserating with other reviewers, even after bitching about it on my date later in the evening for another 20 minutes, I still don't know how to pour all my hate for this film into one review.
So I'll start here: Chi-Raq is bad. Everything about it is bad. Don't see it. For those of you who need more than that before being convinced to not waste $12 and two hours of your life on this monstrosity, let me try to put into words what makes this film so awful, listed from least egregious to "Jesus, Spike Lee, what happened to you?"
Libraries, Badass Women, Politics, Copyright: Obama's new Librarian of Congress nominee is a rip-snortin', copyfightin', surveillance-hatin' no-foolin' LIBRARIAN by Cory Doctorow.
RIP-SNORTIN! And to think my law school friends nearly died over my use of hootenanny in a game one night. Clearly, I need to start adding "rip-snorting" to my vocabulary. More importantly, though, Carla Hayden sounds amazing. I am in awe of her, and want to grow up to be more like her.
The outgoing Librarian of Congress was a technophobe who refused all gadgets more advanced than a fax machine; he was in charge of the nation's copyright, and hence its IT policy.
27 years later, he's finally going, and after a lot of speculation, the president has announced his nominee: the wonderful Carla Hayden. Hayden is an actual librarian, she fought the Patriot Act, lobbies for open access, and the RIAA hates her.
Copyright, Australia: Three Strikes System In Australia 'Too Costly' For Industry; Seems Piracy Not Such A Massive Problem After All by Glyn Moody.
It was evident when the "three strikes" or "graduated response" was first proposed in France back in 2009 that it was a really bad idea. After all, in its crudest form, it cuts people off from what has become a necessity for modern life -- the Internet -- simply because they are accused of copyright infringement, an area of law that is notoriously full of uncertainties. Given that inauspicious start, it's no surprise that over the years, the three strikes system has failed everywhere, with some of the early adopters either dropping it, or putting it on hold. No wonder, then, that a latecomer, Australia, is also having problems with implementing the approach, as this report from c|net makes clear:
A three strikes scheme to track down individual pirates and send them warning letters about their downloading habits has been all but quashed, after rights holders and ISPs decided that manually targeting and contacting downloaders would be too costly.
Comics, TV: The CW is Officially in the Archie TV Show Business by William Hughes.
Whaaaaaat?! It is a really great time to be a comic book adaptation fan. (J, who generally hates comic book adaptations, except for The Walking Dead and iZombie, is not nearly so pleased, because I keep dragging him to see things. Last year's movie negotiations ended with him not having to watch a single comic book movie, but he failed to ask if Vin Diesel had more than one movie out, so he got stuck with two Vin Diesel movies. I still feel like I won that negotiation.) But anyway, ARCHIE TV SHOW! ... except a Glee writer is involved, and anyone attached to Glee makes me leery.
The CW has ordered a pilot for Riverdale, comic-book-to-TV-series mastermind Greg Bertlanti’s “surprising and subversive take” on the quietly bizarre Archie universe. Scripted by Glee writer and Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the series will explore the suburban madness—zombies, gun-toting vigilantes, hamburger-loving, crown-wearing time cops—that lurks just beneath regular teen Archie Andrews’ various romantic squabbles.
(No lie, though, the pilots CW picked up sound really interesting, between Archie and the period horror drama Transylvania. Get it, CW. Get it.)
Art, DIY, Jewelry: DIY: Coding Jewelry by Gabrielle.
Last month I went to a lecture about girls and tech given by Cynthia Bailey Lee of Stanford University. Cynthia is a mom of two, and teaches C++ programming, computing theory, processor architecture, and number theory. Specifically her lecture was about getting our daughters and nieces and any other young girls in our lives to get more excited about working with code, and making the coding world more accessible.
One idea she had was making jewelry based on ASCII code. (And if you don’t know what ASCII code is, no worries. It’s all explained below.) I was really taken by this idea! I called Amy Christie and we brainstormed options for both kid jewelry and grown up jewelry (because hey! it’s not too late for us grownups to learn coding either).
The basic idea is to use beads to write your name or initials or a favorite word or a secret message in code. It’s so cool!
This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth.org with comments. Read the original post there. Comment here or there using OpenID.