You can probably guess that we at the Rumpus disagree, since we have a whole feature devoted to Funny Women (plus we live in the real world, rather than Misogynist Fantasyland, where women have never, ever rejected Christopher Hitchens or Adam Carolla, and always laugh at their jokes)....more
Posts by: Lauren ONeal
What happens when you put a well-regarded social psychologist fixated on order in an academic system that rewards breakthrough experiments over failed ones?
You get one of the biggest con jobs in academic history.
The New York Times Magazine profiles Diederik Stapel, whose experiments on behavioral issues like racism and greed were completely faked....more
More than a few people have questioned, chafed, and commented on Collins’ decision to identify himself as a black gay man — rather than simply as a gay man. And that’s where I step into the ring.
At BuzzFeed, Saeed Jones writes about the importance of race as a factor in NBA player Jason Collins’s coming out....more
It may be hard to believe, but neither you nor your favorite ’90s albums are teenagers anymore.
To celebrate the 20th (!) anniversary of PJ Harvey’s seminal sophomore effort Rid of Me, Spin talked to Harvey, her bandmates, and their legendary producer Steve Albini for an oral history of the record’s creation....more
I met my friends in San Francisco, and I felt safe. I kept thinking – so curiously! – that I hoped he was okay. How could someone be so angry at whoever loved him? How must it feel to hate being loved, and then to have the person that loved you run away in fear?
“Fell in love on the 7th … Quarrel. Silence. Zelda sick … Discovery that Zelda’s class voted her prettiest & most attractive.”
You can’t follow F. Scott Fitzgerald on Twitter, but if you want to know what his tweets might have looked like, check out his handwritten ledger, recently made available online by the University of South Carolina....more
And so it proved, as music website after music website soon reported on the Gordon-Moore breakup in exactly those sort of exclamatory tones, completely ignoring the fact that the article focused on Gordon as a modern feminist hero rather than an abandoned wife.
Literary organization English PEN has chosen an interesting way to raise funds: ask authors to annotate first editions of their books, and then auction them off.
J. K. Rowling is the prize catch in terms of predicted auction money, but 49 other writers are participating, from Philip Pullman to Jeanette Winterson....more
Check out these tasty Rumpus morsels, posted over the weekend!
Wendy Ortiz interviews poet Louise Mathias about beauty, ecstasy, and eroticism…and “snakes and horses and sky and birds and hallucinogenic flowers, and stars, and the smell of creosote after rain, and…”
When journalist Maggie Downs lost a friend in a skydiving accident, many of her writer acquaintances filled her “voicemail…with interview requests instead of well wishes.” In her Sunday Rumpus essay “Spill,” Downs tries to figure out what role journalism has in times of tragedy:
Are these articles designed to tell us that humans suffer?
Check out this slideshow of work by emerging artist and Studio Harlem alum Njideka Akunyili, who grew up in New Haven, Nigeria, and got her MFA at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut.
Packed with references to other Nigerian artists like author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and musician Nelly Uchendu, the pieces explore the intersection between her old home country and her new one, the traditional and the modern....more
A long but magnificent read from Grantland: “Out in the Great Alone.”
It’s an intense and unbelievably detailed story about the Iditarod, by Brian Phillips, a sports writer who “hate[s] snow” and is “not even a dog person.”
Choosing a passage to quote is as difficult as choosing which checkpoint to take your mandatory 24-hour-break at, but here’s one of many good ones:
What you can’t deny, though, is that these animals, having been bred to want to pull sleds, really want to pull them.
Michelangelo had the Medicis; Jackson Pollock had the CIA.
It’s true—in order to ensure the US kept up with the Soviet Union culturally and artistically, the CIA funded abstract expressionist art, unbeknownst even to the artists themselves....more
If magpies can nick our shiny objects for their own purposes, why not other animals?
French artist Hubert Duprat puts jewels in the aquariums of caddis fly larvae, obliging them to build their cocoon-like sheaths out of materials like gold and diamonds....more
On Tumblr, Fresh Air itself highlights the conversation between Martha Bayne and Zoe Zolbrod about Bayne’s Rumpus essay ”Knocked Over: On Biology, Magical Thinking and Choice.”
Bayne recorded a Fresh Air interview about the piece that—as you know if you’ve read the conversation—never aired....more
Via the Poetry Foundation, Open Culture has a 23-minute experimental film by Sandra Lahire using audio of Sylvia Plath reading her poems aloud.
Mixing images of Plath’s obsessions (ouija boards, horses, violent self-harm) with photographs of the poet and her work, the film delves deeply into an existence that Plath herself, in a voice-over interview, calls “living on air.”
Perfect for those of us who wish Plath would out of the ash rise with her red hair....more
Running the gamut from Marx to Badiou, from Women’s Oppression Today to Racecraft, this collection of titles will interest anyone looking to learn more about the fundamentals of leftists politics and philosophy....more
If you’re not already listening to the Believer’s new podcast, the Organist, don’t worry—there’s still time to catch up!
The third episode, posted earlier this month, swings from hillbilly records to classic horror movies, hitting everything in between.
It’s worth a listen for the weird-ass Jack White/Conan O’Brien interview alone....more
Dinosaurs are probably out of the question because their remains are too old to contain usable DNA, but according to “an expert on mammoth DNA at McMaster University in Ontario,” recreating woolly mammoths is “just a matter of finances now.”
Of course, there are a million complications between us and restored flocks of passenger pigeons, but who knows what the future will bring?...more
“Whereas in the past, most trans books were non-fiction, either how-to or memoir books, we’re starting to see novels and short fiction coming from trans authors in North America,” explains Leger. “It’s a great time to be a trans person who loves books!”
Next covers the surge in literature by transgender writers and the places that publish them.
Congratulations to the hardworking writers who won Pulitzer Prizes yesterday, especially Rumpus interviewees Adam Johnson and Tom Reiss!
Johnson won in the fiction category with his novel The Orphan Master’s Son, which we interviewed him about here. Reiss won in the biography/autobiography category for The Black Count, his biography of Alex Dumas (father of the novelist Alexander Dumas)....more
Happy birthday to Henry James!
He pioneered modern fiction techniques with novels like The Portrait of a Lady and The Ambassadors—and of course The Turn of the Screw remains an exemplar of the psychological thriller genre.
You can read many of his books, which are now in the public domain, for free here....more
You may have noticed one or two jokes about Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s collaboration “Accidental Racist,” partially because of every aspect of the song, but mainly because of every aspect of the song.
But Ta-Nehisi Coates puts humor aside for his response in the Atlantic, choosing instead to “seriously and directly engag[e] Brad Paisley and his stated motives for the song.” And he does it really well:
“Booming System” is dope.
Did you enjoy your weekend? Revisit it with a look at our weekend Rumpus features.
Didn’t enjoy your weekend? We have just the thing to cheer you up: weekend Rumpus features....more
DC Comics’ “New 52″ gambit, in which they scrapped all their series’ storylines and replaced them with new ones, did away with many of the characters that kept the DC Universe diverse in terms of race, gender, and sexuality.
But the good news is that the company has introduced a new character, Alysia Yeoh, “who is not only a strong and interesting character, but is also bisexual, Asian-American, and as of now, openly transgender.”
Check out this Autostraddle post for more details....more
We’re all familiar with the great MFA debate: Can an MFA program teach you how to write? Is it just a Ponzi scheme? Why should you enroll in one, or not?
Jia Tolentino, a University of Michigan MFA student, zooms out and takes a less het-up look at both sides of the argument....more