The arse-end of summer means all the good fruit is happening and that's the sort of thing that makes me persist with this conscious existence bullshit.
Everything is circular anyway. Or linear. Whatever. Feral blackberries from over the road died so this yogurt and fruit job could first live and then die a second death in our stomachs, then live again as part of our discrete organism and gut biome. The rest gets to swim free as Dunedin's waste is discharged into the lucky, lucky Pacific ocean. Where it will become zooplankton, barracudas, Right Whales and obscure sponges.
We are just stations on a flow chart and clenching is pointless.
What's been bothering the internet this week? Let's poke that shit with a stick, shall we?
Is Beyonce fat compared to the misogynistic media standard she seems determined to submit to with her bizarre überSpanxed faux thigh-gap post-factual presentations? Fat as a fucking house, man. Just ask Karl Lagerfeld. Which just goes to prove how ludicrous and harmful those standards are. And adds unfortunate weight to the Beyoncé-dumb-as-a-box-of-hair+delusional+narcissistic+slightly-deranged narrative. Dumb because thick girls in the media with the power to meaningfully challenge and reshape popular perceptions of women are especially stupid for bowing to those retarded standards. She can fuck right off with that. Delusional because she seems to believe she can pho-sho her way to biological impossibility via Instagram. Narcissistic because she expects people to worshipfully accept her incompetent manipulated shenanigans and lick them up as Feminism exemplified. Deranged because why the fuck else would you do any part of this mystifying shit?
White Oscars Lack of Diversity in Film Controversy: White people are hopelessly overrepresented in both mainstream and indie film and especially industry awards. I say that as a white writer of fiction, avid consumer of cinema and longtime hater of all competitions and awards for creative endeavour, because they are fucking demeaning to artists and pointless to everyone else. But I sort of understand what the Cohen brothers were trying to say when they dismissed recent diversity criticisms of their own work. Laypeople don't seem to know shit about how imaginatory things happen and that is problematic to any resolution. Lemme whitesplain.
I don't consider myself consciously racist, nor do I begin my process by first wondering how I can exclude anyone; I doubt anyone worth reading does. Characters and situations usually arise spontaneously from ambient cues and the subconscious, and mine are usually unassigned at this point; not male or female half the damn time, and certainly not any particular ethnicity. Creation at the conceptive stage is unpredictable and uncontrolled.
The ethnicities I assign or invent depend entirely on my ability to confidently write and represent them, so my characters, human and other, are largely Indo-European-derived. This familiar chthonic and mythological complex is essential ground support to my mental flights. Though for The Blackthorn Orphans, I established my leads' origins by flipping through an atlas counting to thirteen with my eyes closed until my finger came to rest on the Tibetan plateau, because chance should always be a factor in any composition.
All that might be easy for me to say because I'm white and theoretically more than adequately represented, but 'representation' is not always positive; as an unconventional female I've been ignored, exploited, diminished and misrepresented by cinema too, to my real-world detriment. Unless you've been tarred by the witch/slut/childless/mad brush, it can be difficult for your average white arsehole to understand how powerful a negative societal conditioner cinema can be. That shit is first-cousin to race tropes and impacts how people perceive me every day of my life. Look at the number of women graduating well from film school and then hitting the industry wall. If we're going to talk about exclusion, we need to talk about everyone who's been locked out and not assume the Obedient Sisterhood of Thin White Actresses is something any feminist should be grateful for.
I write outside my gender without qualm because I know men well and they've had way more than their fair suck of the determinant sausage in respect to well, everything (relatively speaking). Writing contemporary characters to exemplify extant cultures outside my experience feels awkward and appropriative, which is the reason I don't often do it. I dunno... I try to be respectful and celebratory of difference and mindful of my own privileges. But as a misanthropist I feel the need to seize random handfuls of humanity and bite their heads off sometimes.
It's not you, it's me. Okay, sometimes it's you, too.
Unless they are malignant racists with an exclusive policy, the Cohen brothers are right to flip off suggestions they should apologise for Fargo et al because they were full of crazy fucking white people. You could argue that their power as white men within the industry makes them responsible for promoting diversity and I think establishment filmmakers should totally pull finger and do more to help other talent get onscreen. But the Cohen oeuvre isn't offensive because it's heaving with freaky crackers. In their national context, they're not whitewashing black characters to get green-lit (far as I know) or shoplifting First Nation stuff for $$$.
On the other hand, Steve McQueen can pull off the Hunger/Shame/12 Years a Slave triptych without being an appropriative arsehole because he is that rarest of things- a fucking genius. A salmon of wisdom who swims in all waters, effortlessly shaming the sardines of mediocrity. I couldn't have made Hunger and my last name is O'Keefe, for fuck's sake. I don't know how that bastard does it with such sonorous authority. Let's just keep him out of this.
It's the implementation of commercial and institutional privilege that makes film unfair, unrepresentative and racist. Conservative white men still dominate cinema even if they are losing their chokehold on popular culture elsewhere; that is bullshit and should be dismantled so that Creole and Hausa and Miao writers can get their stories made without some studio dickhead insisting they be set in LA and feature a perky white role for his latest sportfuck. Yes, I just pissed away 1000 paragraphs stating the obvious but I feel some people need the hammer when tweezers should probably do.
Ah, chocolate. As we've previously mentioned, we love Patagonia Chocolate. We also like giving shout outs to artisanal outfits who go the extra mile for their customers.
A couple of weeks back an order we received had melted a bit in transit during a stupidly hot few days and I gave them a heads up about the issue in case others were being affected. Patagonia instantly offered to replace the whole order gratis and sent us out a new one, no prompting, no quibbling and with a lovely handwritten card. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of fighting businesses who are happy to take your money then blank you once the stuff leaves the warehouse and it was delightful to be treated with consideration.
Yay Patagonia Chocolates. Yummy and ethical.