I initially saw this posted over on Scalzi’s blog—but didn’t get a chance to watch it until last night. I recommend reading John’s thoughts on the video as well (Linked above.)
It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Lindsey Ellis’ work—and I thought she did an excellent job tackling Roland Barthes’ La mort de l’auteur and the concept/dialog surrounding authorial intent as a whole. I particularly like the focus on authors working in today’s brand-focused social media-driven world. It’s very much worth a watch.
I’ve been running a series of post called Raunch Reviews where I examine the effectiveness of fictional swearing. While doing some research for a few upcoming posts, I came across this Vsauce video from 2013 does an outstanding job of breaking down the evolution of language and how it influenced modern profanity. If you’re interested in etymology it’s very much worth spending the ten minutes to give it a watch.
The Steven Pinker lecture mentioned in the video, ‘The Stuff of Thought: Language as a window into human nature,’ is an even more in-depth breakdown of the history and evolution of cursing. It’s long but worth watching if you have the time. Probably not at work though, I would flag it NSFW even though it’s an academic lecture on swearing. So consider yourself warned if that’s a problem.
I quite enjoyed this delightful little video that accompanied Gareth Smit’s article in the New Yorker regarding “The Odd Literary Paraphernalia of the New York Public Library’s Berg Collection.” It’s worth a watch and a read on a pleasant Friday afternoon.
Rest in peace, Harlan Ellison. You incredibly complex man, you.
I’ve seen many good folks sharing all sorts of stories about Ellison. Three that stuck out: John Scalzi’s piece for the LA Times, Neil Gaiman’s heartfelt blog post about their friendship, and this wild thread where Ellison publically plans a conspiracy to commit murder at Dragon Con. I’m sure there are many more.
If you are interested in reading Ellison’s work (there’s a reason he’s an SFWA Grand Master), I recommend starting with either I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream or Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman. He also wrote the greatest episode of Star Trek ever.
This summer, PBS launched The Great American Read—a show about the best-loved books in America. You can see the top 100 list over here. Along with this series, you can also vote for your favs, which you should. (Sadly, none of my Bell Forging Cycle made it, sorry folks.)
Along with the launch, PBS Digital Studios—creators of some of the best content on YouTube—released a Great American Read-themed video on the comparison of films to the books they were based upon. It’s good. Watch it here:
The narrator is the very talented Lindsay Ellis. I’m excited to see her work with PBS and hope this is the start of more collaborations. I’ve been following her work since her Channel Awesome days, and I consider myself a fan.
For those who don’t know Ellis runs a channel where she does longer-format deep-dives into specific films or movie concepts. Her observations on storytelling are wonderful—a big reason why I am drawn to her videos. Some of my favs:
You can find Ellis on Twitter, Patreon, and of course YouTube.
It will come as no surprise that I was delighted by Fabrice Mathieu’s mashup of John Wayne’s The Alamo and Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers. It’s the combo I never thought I needed and I found it delightful and incredibly well done. I shared it on Twitter earlier today, but it needed to be shared here as well. Someone give Mathieu the funding to make this a feature-length film, please.
You can see more of Mathieu’s work on Vimeo and make sure to follow him over on Twitter.