September 22, 2014

Via The Human Marvels:

The Muse brothers had an incredible career. The story of the two black albino brothers from Roanoke, Virginia is unique even in the bizarre world of freaks and sideshow. They were initially exploited and then later hailed for their unintentional role in civil rights.
Born in the 1890’s the pair were scouted by sideshow agents and kidnapped in 1899 by bounty hunters working in the employ of an unknown sideshow promoter. Black albinos, being extremely rare, would have been an extremely lucrative attraction. They were falsely told that their mother was dead, and that they would never be returning home.

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The brothers began to tour. To accentuate their already unusual appearance, their handler had the brothers grow out their hair into long white dreadlocks. In 1922 showman Al G. Barnes began showcasing the brothers in his circus as White Ecuadorian cannibals Eko and Iko. When that gimmick failed to attract crowds the brothers were rechristened the ‘Sheep-Headed Men’ and later, in 1923, the ‘Ambassadors from Mars’.
As the ‘Men from Mars’ the two traveled extensively with the Barnes circus. Unfortunately, while they were being fed, housed and trained in playing the mandolin, they were not being paid.

In the mid 1920’s the Muse brothers toured with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. In 1927, while visiting their hometown, their mother finally tracked them down. She fought to free her sons, some 20 years after their disappearance. She threatened to sue and the Muse brothers were freed.
The brothers filed a lawsuit for the wages they earned but were never paid. They initially demanded a lump-sum payment of 100,000. However, as time passed the Muse brothers missed the crowds, the attention and the opportunities sideshow provided. Their lawyer got them a smaller lump-sum payment and a substantial contract with a flat monthly wage. The pair returned to show business in 1928.
During their first season back they played Madison Square Garden and drew over 10,000 spectators during each of their performances. They made spectacular money as their new contract allowed them to sell their own merchandise and keep all the profits for themselves. In the 1930’s they toured Europe, Asia and Australia. They performed for royals and dignitaries including the Queen of England. In 1937 they returned to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for several years and finally ended their career in 1961 with the Clyde Beatty Circus.
The brothers returned to their hometown and lived together in a house they originally purchased for their mother. Neither brother married, though they were well known for their many extravagant courtships.
George Muse died in 1971 and many expected Willie to quickly follow his brother. Those people were wrong as Willie continued to play his mandolin and enjoy the company friends and family until his death on Good Friday of 2001.
He was 108 years old.

Via The Human Marvels:

The Muse brothers had an incredible career. The story of the two black albino brothers from Roanoke, Virginia is unique even in the bizarre world of freaks and sideshow. They were initially exploited and then later hailed for their unintentional role in civil rights.

Born in the 1890’s the pair were scouted by sideshow agents and kidnapped in 1899 by bounty hunters working in the employ of an unknown sideshow promoter. Black albinos, being extremely rare, would have been an extremely lucrative attraction. They were falsely told that their mother was dead, and that they would never be returning home.

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September 21, 2014

September 21, 2014
wandrlust:

Polish Poster for Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
Designed by Jan Mlodozeniec

wandrlust:

Polish Poster for Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)

Designed by Jan Mlodozeniec

(via papermagazine)

September 21, 2014
"The way your dad looked at it, this watch was your birthright."

parislemon:

John Gruber:

Last week Apple only demonstrated a portion of Apple Watch’s functionality, gave a vague shipping date of only “early 2015”, and announced only a $349 “starting price” that I believe has grossly misinformed the expectations of many people for the prices of the steel and gold models.

I agree. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me how much I think the high end Apple Watch is going to cost. When my response is that I would guess it will be “thousands, not hundreds of dollars” they tend to gasp.

This is the biggest question mark about the high end Apple Watch, in my opinion. With all their products, Apple is on a regular hardware update cycle — and quite often, that’s yearly. Given the computer aspects of the device, you’d have to assume the same is going to be true for the Apple Watch. But who on Earth is going to pay $5,000 a year?

Either way, it sure seems like Apple doesn’t care much about the notion that a watch is something most people only buy once or twice in their lives. Before the iPhone, people also didn’t upgrade their phones each year (I had my pre-iPhone device, a Motorola Razr, for almost three years before I got the iPhone — imagine that upgrade cycle now). This is different, of course. But I wouldn’t write off something Apple is doing simply because it’s different. That’s often when they do their best work.

This is not your great-grandfather’s watch.

September 20, 2014

(Source: amajor7, via unforeseen-circumstances)

September 19, 2014
buzzfeed:

"I am the product of endless books," author Roxane Gay says in this wonderful essay.

buzzfeed:

"I am the product of endless books," author Roxane Gay says in this wonderful essay.

September 19, 2014
bitch-media:

comicsalliance:

‘FUN HOME’ CREATOR ALISON BECHDEL RECEIVES MACARTHUR GENIUS GRANT
By Chris Sims
Cartoonist Alison Bechdel is virtually a household name at this point. Her comics, including Fun Home and Dykes To Watch Out For, are deservedly critically acclaimed, and ‘The Bechdel Test’ has become an increasingly relevant shorthand for analysis of gender diversity in fiction. In other words, she’s a genius, and today, that became official.
Bechdel is one of the latest recipients of The MacArthur Foundation‘s “Genius Grant,” which honors “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction,” and comes with an award of $625,000 that can be spent any way the recipient sees fit.
READ MORE

So glad we can call Alison Bechdel an *official genius* now.

bitch-media:

comicsalliance:

‘FUN HOME’ CREATOR ALISON BECHDEL RECEIVES MACARTHUR GENIUS GRANT

By Chris Sims

Cartoonist Alison Bechdel is virtually a household name at this point. Her comics, including Fun Home and Dykes To Watch Out For, are deservedly critically acclaimed, and ‘The Bechdel Test’ has become an increasingly relevant shorthand for analysis of gender diversity in fiction. In other words, she’s a genius, and today, that became official.

Bechdel is one of the latest recipients of The MacArthur Foundation‘s “Genius Grant,” which honors “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction,” and comes with an award of $625,000 that can be spent any way the recipient sees fit.

READ MORE

So glad we can call Alison Bechdel an *official genius* now.

(via cptimes)

July 17, 2014
2005’s Constantine, directed by Francis Lewis, was essentially an excuse to watch Keanu Reeves smoulder on screen and Tilda Swinton rock a pair of post-modern angel wings. Constantine, which was based on Vertigo Comics’s Hellblazer series, was met with mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. The movie bore little resemblance to the source material other its characters’ names. John Constantine was no longer blonde, English, charming, or apparently bisexual the way he’d been on the pages of Hellblazer.
Late last year Deadline reported that NBC had greenlit a Constantine reboot for its fall lineup. As casting announcements were made and promotional footage released, fans of the comics were left wondering if this incarnation of the supernatural antihero would be truer to its roots.
Daniel Cerone, executive producer for NBC’s Constantine, set the record straight this past Sunday at the Television Critics Association’s press junket. One of the more interesting things about the Hellblazer series was that its characters aged in real time over the book’s 30 year run. Bisexual as Constantine may have been, the bulk of his love interests were women.
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“[T]here might have been one or two issues where he’s seen getting out of bed with a man.” Cerone explained, musing about future developments for the character. “So [maybe] 20 years from now? But there are no immediate plans.”
Unlike his love of cigarettes, Constantine’s sexuality was never exactly an ancillary aspect of his character. But it wasn’t something that the character himself, and his writers by extension, ever outright dismissed or retconned. Charlie Jane Anders of io9 agrees that the NBC’s decision to tone down Constantine’s smoking is a little more egregious, but felt as if the network definitely missed an opportunity:

I didn’t mean to skate over this issue quite so glibly — blame deadlines and pre-Comic-Con phone calls. I do think erasing queer people from pop culture is a shitty thing to do, and we desperately need more pop culture that represents the whole range of human sexuality. And it really wouldn’t have cost much for them to include an aside about ex-boyfriends along with ex-girlfriends. At the same time, to me the most important aspect of John Constantine is not who he fucks, but who he fucks over.  

A Pew study published last June reported that bisexually identified individuals composed the largest percentage of their survey sample that included gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transgendered people. Conversely, on average lesbians and gays reported being far more open with friends and family about their sexual orientation than their bisexual counterparts.
One of the major challenges to combating what many queer people have identified as “bi-invisibility,” is finding opportunities to introduce bisexuals into the popular conscious. Calls to action for compulsory comings out for bisexuals are neither moral nor realistic, but programming like Constantine has the potential to push that conversation in the right direction.
 

2005’s Constantine, directed by Francis Lewis, was essentially an excuse to watch Keanu Reeves smoulder on screen and Tilda Swinton rock a pair of post-modern angel wings. Constantine, which was based on Vertigo Comics’s Hellblazer series, was met with mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. The movie bore little resemblance to the source material other its characters’ names. John Constantine was no longer blonde, English, charming, or apparently bisexual the way he’d been on the pages of Hellblazer.

Late last year Deadline reported that NBC had greenlit a Constantine reboot for its fall lineup. As casting announcements were made and promotional footage released, fans of the comics were left wondering if this incarnation of the supernatural antihero would be truer to its roots.

Daniel Cerone, executive producer for NBC’s Constantine, set the record straight this past Sunday at the Television Critics Association’s press junket. One of the more interesting things about the Hellblazer series was that its characters aged in real time over the book’s 30 year run. Bisexual as Constantine may have been, the bulk of his love interests were women.

Read More

July 15, 2014

 

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July 15, 2014
TIME Magazine contributor, and current University of Mississippi senior, Sierra Mannie has penned an open letter to the white, male members of the gay community concerning what she feels is the widespread appropriation of black female culture:

"Maybe, for some of you, it’s a presumed mutual appreciation for Beyoncé and weaves that has you thinking that I’m going to be amused by you approaching me in your best “Shanequa from around the way” voice. I don’t know.
What I do know is that I don’t care how well you can quote Madea, who told you that your booty was getting bigger than hers, how cute you think it is to call yourself a strong black woman, who taught you to twerk, how funny you think it is to call yourself Quita or Keisha or for which black male you’ve been bottoming — you are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood. It is not yours. It is not for you.”

4284It’s not so much that gays have come to appreciate certain manifestations of black femininity that have flourished in the broader culture, Mannie argues. The line between the appreciative and problematic is crossed when gay men over-identify with black women to the point of forgetting that “strong black womanhood” isn’t something to be affected. It’s an identity tied to a very specific kind of life experience inexorably tied to one’s race and gender.
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"In all of the ways that your gender and race give you so much, in those exact same ways, our gender and race work against our prosperity. To claim that you’re a minority woman just for the sake of laughs, and to say that the things allowed her or the things enjoyed by her are done better by you isn’t cute or funny."

Chuck Knipp, the comedian behind the drag persona Shirley Q. Liquor, has drawn varying degrees of criticism for his use of blackface and heavy reliance negative stereotypes about black women in his act. It’s easy to point out egregious examples like Knipp and decry their behaviour while overlooking the more subtle, but very real strains of misogyny and racism fostered within gay male culture—particularly when they masquerade as kitsch.
 
Reactions to the piece have varied from emphatic agreement to flat-out dismissal.
Reactions to the piece have varied from emphatic agreement to flat-out dismissal. In a piece for Thought Catalog comedian H. Alan Scott, challenged Mannie to broaden her ideas of what constitutes the “proper” kinds of actions for men and women, gay, straight, black, or white.
“Must I, as a gay white man, only like and act in a certain way because I’m a gay white man?” He asks. “Must that black woman pretend to like Beyonce when maybe, just maybe, she likes Katy Perry?
“[T]he last thing we want is for people to embrace other cultures.” Wrote another reader.  “Just have the blacks and the whites keep to [their] own sides of the town. Next thing you know they might start marrying each other and having kids.”
Far from calling for the resurrection of anti-miscegenation laws Mannie, like everyone else who has ever made her points is simply looking for people to be more cognizant of their actions.

"All of this being said, you should not have to stop liking the things you like. This is not an attempt to try to suck the fun out of your life.  
If you love some of the same things that some black women love, by all means, you and your black girlfriends go ahead and rock the hell out. Regardless of what our privileges and lack of privileges are, regardless of the laws and rhetoric that have attempted to divide us, we are equal, even though we aren’t the same, and that is okay. Claiming our identity for what’s sweet without ever having to taste its sour is not.”

TIME Magazine contributor, and current University of Mississippi senior, Sierra Mannie has penned an open letter to the white, male members of the gay community concerning what she feels is the widespread appropriation of black female culture:

"Maybe, for some of you, it’s a presumed mutual appreciation for Beyoncé and weaves that has you thinking that I’m going to be amused by you approaching me in your best “Shanequa from around the way” voice. I don’t know.

What I do know is that I don’t care how well you can quote Madea, who told you that your booty was getting bigger than hers, how cute you think it is to call yourself a strong black woman, who taught you to twerk, how funny you think it is to call yourself Quita or Keisha or for which black male you’ve been bottoming — you are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood. It is not yours. It is not for you.”

4284It’s not so much that gays have come to appreciate certain manifestations of black femininity that have flourished in the broader culture, Mannie argues. The line between the appreciative and problematic is crossed when gay men over-identify with black women to the point of forgetting that “strong black womanhood” isn’t something to be affected. It’s an identity tied to a very specific kind of life experience inexorably tied to one’s race and gender.

Read More