Posts Tagged: weekend rumpus roundup
Caroline Smith writes about parenthood and television in the Saturday Essay. The wildly popular AMC drama Mad Men provides a thematic frame for Smith’s own foray into marriage and motherhood. She even teaches a college writing course on the television show, allowing her to analyze the “messiness” of Mad Men and real life....more
First, Brandon Hicks gives us “Leonard: The Dad From A Different Generation.”
Next, Gayle Brandeis offers a personal and insightful portrait of female body image in the Saturday Essay, “Thunder, Thighs.” Before Brandeis’s own view of her thighs was changed forever, they were her “friends,” her “freedom.” After much introspection, Brandeis learns strategies for coping with the shame imposed on her from outside....more
“If there was one thing I learned from Tess Durbeyfield, Lily Bart, and Constance Chatterly,” writes Gina Di Salvo in the Saturday Essay, “it was not to get trapped.” When Di Salvo becomes a mother, classic works of literature that once provided comfort are reluctantly dropped in favor of the popular children’s film, Frozen....more
First, Brandon Hicks’s illustrated meta-story of advertising woe, “Your Face Here: A Biography.”
Then, Jonathan Harper recounts the challenges he faced growing up as a queer gamer in the Saturday Essay. From Dungeons & Dragons to video games like Dragon Age and Baldur’s Gate, Harper traces the slow but encouraging decline of homophobia in gaming plots....more
First, in the Saturday Essay, Kathryn Buckley reminisces over the 1988 Bette Midler film Beaches, which portrays a friendship between two women whose friendship deepens over the years as they grow older. The similarities between Buckley and her on-screen doppleganger lead her to realizations about a valuable real-life friendship....more
First, Brandon Hicks takes an irreverent look at economic ironies in “Competitive Marketplace.”
Then, setting is paramount in the Saturday Rumpus Review of Antonio Ruizpalacio’s film, Gueros. The director’s vision of Mexico City, writes Alex Norcia, symbolizes “Güeros’s struggling and disaffected youths, an external rendering of what’s most internal.” Its characters fight to create meaning for their lives in a landscape that resists them at every turn....more
First, the Rumpus exclusive video premiere of The Size Queens’s To The Country.
Then, in the Saturday Review of Mad Max: Fury Road, Devin O’Neill explores the movie’s seeds of feminist thought. Though the film is undeniably brutal and violent, O’Neill highlights its anti-patriarchal implications....more
First, Brandon Hicks takes an illustrative look at a few hypothetical situations.
And in the Saturday interview, Anna March talks with Salon editor and author Sarah Hepola about alcoholism and the distorted worldview that comes along with it. Hepola talks movingly about her blackouts, which became the “through line” in her memoir of the same name....more
Judy Bolton-Fasman examines her Cuban-American parents in the Saturday Essay, in particular her mother’s struggle to read Don Quijote in its original Spanish for her master’s degree. Her parents’ heritage informs their aspirations in a new country. “For my father Cuba was a cautionary tale,” Bolton-Fasman writes....more
First, Brandon Hicks finds the essence of military conflict in his comic, “War.”
Then, Arielle Bernstein talks to self-proclaimed “anti-racist feminist” Tamara Winfrey-Harris in the Saturday Interview. Winfrey-Harris’s blog, What Tami Said, provides some of the material for an essay collection due out this July....more
First, the topic of artificial intelligence is the focus of drama in the Saturday Review of Ex Machina. Joe Sacksteder describes the “murky moral terrain” of the film, which follows an unwitting participant in a modern-day mad scientist’s experimentations.
Then, in the Sunday Essay, Thea Goodman shares a difficult story of harassment from her teenage years....more
In the Saturday Essay, Scott Borchert wonders about the symbiosis of author James Agee and folklorist Harry Smith. Though it is unclear if they met in New York during the 1950s, “their works do converge —in spirit, perhaps, and not chronologically.” The “fever-dream” of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men complements the nightmarish quality of Smith’s landmark folk music compilation....more
First, Julie Marie Wade points to Tod Marshall’s skillful use of call and response in his new poetry collection, Bugle. The theme of mortality punctuates this “fierce” and “stunning” book. Marshall’s speaker, Wade writes, “contemplates what we think we know about nature, music, human frailty, and human triumph.”
Meanwhile, The Internet is “the great, depressing equalizer,” admits writer and collaborator Jacob Wren....more
First, sacrifice is the key to artistic growth in Grant Snider’s “Creative Processor.”
And in the Saturday Essay, Amanda Miska realizes she is making the object of her love into a “myth,” into “the version of the story that [she] wanted to believe.” Framed by the constant presence of social media, Miska analyzes the motivation behind Internet “stalking”—the desire to win....more
First, Grant Snider provides some (mostly) encouraging words in “One Page At A Time.”
Prompted by author Colleen McCullough’s shallow-minded obituary in the Guardian, Tabitha Blankenbiller uses the Saturday Essay for introspection. The prevailing views of women’s bodies come under the microscope when Blankenbiller reflects on her experience in a church support group for women trying to lose weight....more
Gentrification, and analogies for it, are the focus of Mary Biddinger’s poetry collection A Sunny Place With Adequate Water, reviewed by Danielle Susi. The inhumanity of coin-operated machinery serves as a theme. Moments of “lucidity” make these poems “a little weird, a little quirky, and a lot beautiful.”
Then, in the Saturday Essay, Tara Isabella Burton looks back on her teenage relationship with the groundbreaking television drama Gilmore Girls and its eerie mimicry of her own life....more
First, Grant Snider’s “Inferiority Complex” explores the inner recesses of consciousness.
Then, Louise Fabiani reviews Scarlett Johansson’s scary sci-fi film, Under the Skin, which “weasels its way into your reptilian brain from its first baffling frames.” Director Jonathan Glazer does a nice job of getting the audience on Johansson’s side, even as she beckons unwitting men to their deaths....more
In the Saturday essay, “Broken Bird: Reflections on The Upside of Anger,” Kathryn Buckley notes similarities between the film, starring Keri Russell, and her own experiences—both she and Russell’s character struggled with anorexia. When Buckley finds herself in an MFA program, something clicks....more
First, Grant Snider considers New Year’s resolutions in his inimitable way.
Then, Barbara Berman draws a connection between two recent poetry collections—famous German playwright Bertold Brecht’s posthumous Love Poems and The Book of Scented Things: 100 Contemporary Poems About Perfume, edited by Jehanne Dubrow and Lindsay Lusby....more