Links: X-treme Edition

31 Aug

You’re shitting me.  It’s Wednesday, and I have links for you???  You bet your ass!  All of the following links deal with the “x-treme” – x-treme movie-going, x-treme weather, and x-treme pooping.  Are you excited?  I’m excited!  Let’s do it!

Tracy Moore for Jezebel: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Pooping During Childbirth

Lately, my writing has taken a somewhat scatological turn, so it’s no wonder that I practically fell off my chair when I was reading this.  I have written before about how I believe humor – especially humor written or performed by women – can be an effective way to challenge stereotypes and give the kyriarchy the big “fuck you.”  Also, laughing is fun.

From the piece:

The theatrics and agony of labor are about many things both literal and symbolic, but let us all agree right here and now that they are about transitions and releases. Therefore, the poop must come out. And it must be ushered in joyously, as gently as Nature’s Pillow, as the Big Finish to nine months of gassy purgatory. And as we all know by now: That which cannot handle the poop surely cannot handle the scoop!

And the scoop is this: I’m afraid there are no easy answers here. But really, going forward, now that you’ll have this baby, I think that’s a good theme for everyone involved to get used to – the no easy answers thing. And the poop. So, go ahead: Release the Kraken!

I died.  I really did.

Brady Potts for Sociological Images: Should We Be “Like 1900”?  Probably Not.

This week marks the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landing on the Gulf Coast, and Sociological Images has been memorializing the event with a series of posts about the disaster.  All of them are worth a look, but this one in particular talks about the evolution of disaster response in the U.S., especially in light of Congressman Ron Paul’s recent assertion that FEMA is unnecessary, and that disaster response should be modeled after the response to a hurricane in 1900 that devastated Galveston, Texas.  Potts’s analysis is quite astute, and I really, really enjoyed this piece.

Potts describes the disaster response in Galveston:

So, for instance, some of the citizens of Galveston who survived the storm were given liquor for their nerves and pressed into service at gunpoint by local authorities to clear dead and putrefying bodies from the wreckage; some were later partially compensated for their time with a small sum of money. Property owners, however, were exempted from mandatory clearing of debris and corpses.

Capital idea!  Get traumatized citizens drunk, and then force them to clear away wreckage and dead bodies at gunpoint!  Good thinkin’, Ron Paul!

Go and read the rest of the piece, though.  It’s really enlightening to compare the way disasters affect us now to the way they affected us a century ago.

Larry Fahey for The Rumpus: Return of the Movie Binge

This is by far the most fun and creative movie review I’ve ever read – and I read FILM CRIT HULK!  Basically, our friend Larry spends a day theater-hopping on one matinee ticket.  Seven movies in one day.  Holy smokes.  And this would be a fun concept on its own, but it’s made so much better by the fact that Fahey is amazing.  Take the beginning of his review of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which I’m totally psyched about, by the way):

I always think of science fiction as our most earnest genre, and for me it’s often an uncomfortable union of big ideas and ridiculous execution. Take Star Trek, for instance. How can I seriously consider the weighty philosophical issues so often promoted in science fiction when I have to look at aliens that are nothing but homely character actors wearing plastic foreheads? I can’t, is the answer. Over and above budget consideration, even the most revered science fiction movies are often marred by heavy-handed symbolism that undermines any interesting themes. For me, the gold standard of distractingly earnest, homemade-looking sci-fi has always been the rubber masks and ridiculous tunics of the original Planet of the Apes.

I’m with ya, Larry.

So aside from getting seven movie reviews in one go, Larry also shares with us some of the survival techniques of extreme movie-going, including what to pack and how to avoid getting caught.

I really can’t think of a higher commendation for this piece, and if you read nothing else this week, read this one.

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