weekend links: sexist script intros, Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, character name categories


A still from Beyoncé's "Formation" video.Image courtesy of AllHipHop.

Beyoncé made waves with the surprise release of the song and video for “Formation,” a Black Lives Matter-inspired anthem with a video that centers on post-Katrina New Orleans. Many applauded her infusion of politics into the world of pop music, and her Super Bowl performance, complete with an ensemble of women dressed up like Black Panthers, displayed ambition and awareness. But some critics are taking issue over her use of New Orleans as a backdrop for the video, and questioning whether her appropriation is a righteous celebration of Black culture, a shameless case of exploitation, a misguided exaltation of capitalism, or some combination of the three. [Slate / Rolling Stone]

The Internet was aflutter this week with news of a Twitter account dedicated to sexist descriptions of women in film scripts. Filmmaker Ross Putman quickly gathered thousands of followers with his Tweets, which are just as bad as you’d expect them to be. I’m not sure if these scripts were written by amateurs or professional Hollywood guys, but they’re all cringe-worthy. [Jezebel]

Beverly “Guitar” Watkins is “the greatest living blues guitarist that no one has ever heard of.” She’s played on seminal blues recordings, opened for James Brown and B.B. King, toured internationally, and released solo albums. And at 76 years old, she is still one million times cooler than certain blues musicians (who shall remain nameless) who fight teenagers on Twitter for fun. [Oxford American]

Speaking of Twitter: I did not know that Samuel L. Jackson instigated a Twitter feud about The Avengers with New YorkTimes film critic A.O. Scott. Twitter is so weird. Anyway, Scott—a professed snob—has a new book out called Better Living Through Criticism, which is the most delightfully and enticingly snobby title I’ve read in a long time. [Vulture]

When it comes to fiction writing, nothing makes me more anxious than naming characters. And now that I know the three dominant categories of character names—cratylic, realistic, and absurdonym—I will be better able to articulate that anxiety in my gournal. [The Paris Review]

Somehow I always forget that Daniel Clowes wrote both the comic book and the adapted screenplay Ghost World. But somehow I don’t think I will ever forget Clowes’s 1990 depiction of Art Spiegelman, described here by Robert Ito: “Art Spiegelman is a creepy, chain-smoking taskmaster who forces his stable of unpaid artists to create work for his comics magazine in a miserable hovel with burlap sacks for beds.” [California Sunday Magazine]

This is the last weekend for PrintAustin, and things are capping off with the Flatbed Contemporary Print Fair, featuring fine art prints, printmaking demonstrations, discussions with artists, and more. And if you haven’t seen Melissa Brown’s exhibit at Big Medium, tomorrow is your last day to catch it before it closes. Critics agree: it’s well-worth checkingout. [PrintAustin]

—Alyssa G. Ramirez and Sean Redmond

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