While I love Avenue Q, I’ve always winced at the line in one song telling us “Ethnic jokes might be uncouth/But we laugh because they’re based on truth.” because no, they’re not based on truth (black men are not oversexed and Jews are not insanely greedy, to cite the subtext of two that I’ve heard over the years) and the reasons people laugh at them are a lot uglier. Vox looks at the musical and the concept of ironic racism. The Mary Sue vents about what it sees as the similar ironic nastiness of Cards Against Humanity (though I have to say I enjoy playing that too).
” The film also romanticizes slavery as if it was nothing more than a workplace sitcom in which all the slaves were happy baristas at the plantation’s Starbucks.” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on what to do with Gone With the Wind. It’s a question we’ve been debating for a long time.
Five years ago, Eric Flint wrote a blog post explaining why Hugo awards don’t match popular taste. I thought he made sense but Camestros Felapton makes a good case that Flint doesn’t. Felapton also discusses the appeal of works that subvert expectations and why those stand a better chance of winning awards (and conversely, why novels that give us exactly what we expect are long shots).
Michal Wocjik writes about reading 1984 for the first time.
Michele Berger on writing in a year like 2020.
Various cartoons look at recasting nonwhite roles with nonwhite voice actors.
Black-owned bookstores during a time of anti-racism protests.
A new movement compares advances paid to white authors and to authors of color. The publishing industry does not come out looking good.