Posts tagged wow
Posts tagged wow
The Women Who Mapped the Universe And Still Couldn’t Get Any Respect
In 1881, Edward Charles Pickering, director of the Harvard Observatory, had a problem: the volume of data coming into his observatory was exceeding his staff’s ability to analyze it. He also had doubts about his staff’s competence–especially that of his assistant, who Pickering dubbed inefficient at cataloging. So he did what any scientist of the latter 19th century would have done: he fired his male assistant and replaced him with his maid, Williamina Fleming. Fleming proved so adept at computing and copying that she would work at Harvard for 34 years–eventually managing a large staff of assistants.
So began an era in Harvard Observatory history where women—more than 80 during Pickering’s tenure, from 1877 to his death in 1919— worked for the director, computing and cataloging data. Some of these women would produce significant work on their own; some would even earn a certain level of fame among followers of female scientists. But the majority are remembered not individually but collectively, by the moniker Pickering’s Harem.
When I walk all the things
of the earth awaken,
and they rise up and whisper
and it’s their stories that they tell.
And the peoples who wander
leave them for me on the road
and I gather them where they’ve fallen
in cocoons made of footprints.
Stories run through my body
or purr in my lap.
They buzz, boil, and bee-drone.
They come to me uncalled
and don’t leave me once told.
Those that come down from the trees
braid and unbraid themselves,
and weave me and wrap me
until the sea drives them away.
But the sea speaks endlessly
and the more I tire, the more it tells me …
People who are chewing the forest
and those who break stone
want stories at bedtime.
Women looking for lost
children who don’t return
and women who think they’re alive
and don’t know that they’re dead,
ask for stories every night
and I spend myself telling and telling.
I stop in the middle of the road
between rivers that won’t let me go,
and the chorus begins closing in
and they trap me in the ring.
At my thumb come those of the animals,
at my forefinger those of my dead.
Those of children, being so many,
swarm like ants on my palms.
The crackpot mariners
who ask for them sail no more,
and those they tell I tell them
in front of the open sea.
I had one that went like the flight
of albatrosses and scissortails.
You could hear the wind in it,
it lapped sea-salt contentedly.
I forgot it when I was inland
like a fish nobody feeds.
Where could the story be,
flying like a drunken gull,
that fell at my skirts one day
and left me blind from such whiteness?
Another faraway woman tells
a story that saves and frees,
maybe she has it, maybe she’ll bring it
to my door before she dies.
When the one I had took my arms
like this, they all would run
like rivulets of blood
through my arms all night long.
Now, facing East, I’m giving them
to that one as a reminder.
The old ones want them falsified,
the children beg that they be true.
They all want to hear my own story
which on my living tongue is dead.
I search for someone who remembers it,
page for page, thread for thread.
I’ll lend them my breath, give them my beat
to see if hearing it wakes it in me.
—Gabriela Mistral, “The Storyteller” (translated by Randall Couch)
Seanan McGuire went on a very long, very excellent rant on Twitter this morning, and I felt it deserved to be organized.
Game of Thrones Wedding Cake
Gaston really is the most terrifying Disney villain because he could be anyone in the world.
Later he convinces the whole town to set up his wedding with the knowledge that the would-be bride would be thrown into it. Everyone finds his creepy-ass tactics as cute and “boys will be boys” esque. So yeah, he is terrifying.
Yeah, the truly scary thing about Beauty and the Beast isn’t that Gaston exists, but that society fucking loves him. People who deride the movie by saying it’s about Stockholm Syndrome are ignoring that it’s actually about the various ways that truly decent people get othered by society. People don’t trust the Beast because of the way he looks, which only feeds his anger issues and pushes him further away. Gaston isn’t the only one who criticizes Belle for being bookish, either; the whole town says there must be something wrong with her. And her father gets carted off to a mental asylum for being just a little eccentric.
Howard Ashman, who collaborated on the film’s score and had a huge influence on the movie’s story and themes, was a gay man who died of AIDS shortly after work on the film was completed. If you watch the film with that in mind, the message of it becomes clear. Gaston demonstrates that bullies are rewarded and beloved by society as long as they possess a certain set of characteristics, while nice people who don’t are ostracized. The love story between Belle and the Beast is about them finding solace in each other after society rejects them both.
Notice how the Beast reacts when the whole town comes for him. He’s not angry, he’s sad. He’s tired. And he almost gives up because he has nothing to live for. But then he sees that Belle has come back for him, and suddenly he does. In the original fairy tale, the Beast asks Belle to marry him every night, and the spell is broken when she accepts. In the Disney movie, he waits for her to love him, because he cannot love himself. That’s how badly being ostracized from society and told that you’re a monster all your life can fuck with your head and make you stop seeing yourself as human.
Society rewards the bullies because we’ve been brought up to believe that their victims don’t belong. That if someone doesn’t fit in, then they have to be put in their place, or destroyed. And this movie demonstrates that this line of thinking is wrong. It’s so much deeper than a standard “be yourself” message, and that’s why it’s one of my favorite Disney movies.
Jason Bateman in Mumford & Sons’ Hopeless Wanderer music video (x)
Aka these tears are real.
Apparently the Little Women fandom has got some rage going on.
Jo/Laurie was my OTP. There was zero basis for Amy/Laurie, other than “pair the spare.” I am still not over it and I’ll never be over it.I’ll be the opposition and say that Jo/Bhaer was always my fave pairing in the book—prolly says something about my own desires for a burly frumpy professor with a heart of gold. >.> Didn’t know the fan thing, though!
See, I had less issue with Jo/Bhaer than with Laurie/Amy. I kinda get it from Jo’s side, because, yeah frumpy professor with a heart of gold. But Laurie marrying Amy? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!?! They had no chemistry, and it felt like a “fuck you” to Jo and nothing else.I can’t find the link either though I know I’ve had it in the past and it’s in the foreward of my copy of the book! Ugh, still so bitter about how that turned out.
Thank you internet for bringing me together with people who are as bitter as I am over this TRAVESTY OF LITERATURE.
Yeah, Laurie/Amy was always my least favorite of the canon couples, though I like it a bit better now that I’m older/have the patience to look for the subtle things? It came out of nowhere, sure, but I think of it, at worst, as a very slow rebound that actually worked out.
Do you remember if the link said that Alcott nixed Jo/Laurie because of the fangirls, or was it a correlation/causation thing? Because I actually agree with the reasons she gives (via Marmee March) for them not working out in the long run, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she’d have done it this way no matter what.
I know there’s a link that I can’t find, but yes, the reason was because of the fangirls. She didn’t think that Laurie and Jo would work out long term (as Marmee said) and was shocked that people wanted them to be together.
Of course, as the author, she had headcanons that we, as readers, weren’t privy to, so okay, she had her Reasons. But from what she wrote? I ain’t buying it. Amy/Laurie is the worst canon couple in American “literature”—and I’m including the travesty that was the “romance” in Wuthering Heights in that. Because at least those characters had reasons for fucking who they did, even if their reasons were to fuck someone else over. Amy had a reason to marry Laurie (i.e. MONEY) but Laurie? Doesn’t make any sense.
my recollection is that she wanted Jo to remain unmarried, but when the publisher insisted on Jo getting married and having a traditional ending, she wasn’t going to give the fangirls Jo/Laurie, which they wrote to her asking for, so she instead made for her what she called “a funny match” in Jo/Bhaer,.
for the last fuckity number of years i had no idea how this book ends because the first and only time i read it (i was…seven? eight?) i got really mad when all of a sudden Amy and Laurie showed up all LOL WE’RE MARRIED and i never finished reading it.
so just now i was like “Jo/Bhaer? who the fuck is Bhaer again?” because i couldn’t remember so i went and read the Wikipedia page and now i finally know how this book ends and also i am angry all over again
NO-O-O-O-O-O-O I LOVE JO/PROFESSOR BHAER AND HERE IS WHY. Jo is Laurie’s Manic Pixie Dream Girl and he loves her because she’s so wild and different and creative and really gets him, like DUDE IT’S NOT HER EFFIN’ JOB TO RESCUE YOU FROM YOUR RICH KID DOLDRUMS, GET OUTTA HERE.
Professor Bhaer encourages Jo in her writing and really likes her and is honestly shocked that she’s into a poor, strange, foreign professor because IT’S NOT ABOUT HIM, he just thinks her writing is great and she’s an interesting person who should be encouraged to live up to her potential and then they buy a farm and start a fuckin’ progressive school for fucked up kids and I know Laurie loved Jo and all, but would he have founded some hippie commune school with her full of hot juvenile delinquents (DAN BESTILL MY HEART). I doubt it. I DOUBT IT, because when it came right down to it Jo was a person who DID STUFF and MADE CHOICES about her life, while Laurie was a person to whom THINGS JUST HAPPENED while he drifted along. Jo shouldn’t have to be the entire engine of the relationship! She deserves a co-engine and that is Professor Bhaer.