A Brief Update

Hi thinkers!

I thought you would be interested to know that I have been asked to contribute to another blog! It belongs to the book club I’m a member of on Goodreads. It’s called Classics Without All the Class — the blog is dedicated to making reading more accessible to everyone as well as sharing our love of books. They’ve asked me to share my thoughts on graphic novels. I’m also providing them with a roundup of fun, book-related events each week. This is the first time I’ve ever been asked to contribute to another blog and I couldn’t be more excited! Please check out some of the links below to learn more about the book club and my involvement.

Do not fear! I will still be updating here regularly. You didn’t think I would leave you hanging, did you?

Thanks for reading!

Links:

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Today is International Women’s Day!

I wanted to celebrate International Women’s Day by featuring a woman who has done a phenomenal job in bringing attention to women’s issues, especially in popular culture: Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency.

The best way to talk about her is to let her speak for herself in one of her best videos to date: Damsel in Distress: Part 1 — Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. It is the first video in a series made possible by her successful Kickstarter project. Please make sure to watch all the way through to the end.

I’m grateful for Ms. Sarkeesian’s ability to think critically about pop culture in a way that is engaging, but more importantly, for providing us with a vocabulary to articulate our thoughts. She reminds us that:

” …  it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects.”

Her segment on Princess Peach’s appearance in Mario Bros. 2 brought me back to an interview I went on last year at a file storage and sharing website company. In one of

their many attempts to be “hip” and/or “clever” during the interview process, they asked what my favorite video game was. When I said Mario Bros. 2, I received some pretty condescending looks from the two guys sitting across the table. Then they looked in disbelief and proceeded to ask me why, exactly, it was my favorite game. I told them that it was the only game I remember from my childhood where I could choose another girl as a playable character. I also mentioned that I favored her flying ability. Then they continued to ask if I had another favorite game, as if somehow my answer wasn’t good enough.

So thank you, Ms. Sarkeesian for asking the unpopular questions, for bringing reason and intelligence to the table, and staying strong in the face of adversity. And thank you for reminding me that identifying with a game because it has a playable female character is a good enough reason for it to be my favorite.

How will you be celebrating?

Check out a few of these other sites celebrating International Women’s Day:

And if you have another ten minutes, check out Anita’s talk about cyber mobs at TEDxWomen:

[Thank you to Guebara for making the image above available for reuse.]

Link

Like most of you, I’ve known about Kickstarter for some time. For those of you that might not be familiar with the site, it is dedicated to funding projects through crowdsourcing. If you’re curious about the details of Kickstarter and how it words, check out their FAQs.

I hadn’t backed a project until last week when I discovered that someone was trying to get funding to publish an annotated version of Moby Dick. While the novel itself can be found for free on the Internet, the annotations have already been written and are available on online through Power Moby Dick, the project came about when the creator decided to combine both into a printed book. As a bibliophile and lover of squeezing every ounce of knowledge from anything I read, finding this was a dream come true. Unfortunately, it fell just short of raising enough money in the 30 day time period. I’m holding out hope that someone, somewhere, someday soon, will pick up where the creator left off and achieve successful funding.

A few days after discovering A Beautiful Annotated Edition of Moby Dick, I received an email from a friend about the Kickstarter she created from her work connecting startups to capital. Anna is trying to get funding in order to publish a book from the infographics she has created on business and technology. The book is called Becoming an Entrepreneur and I really hope it is successful. I really believe a lot of people would benefit from the knowledge shared in this book.

And as one novel begets another, I found Beetle Days: A Novel. The book explores human behavior through the life of a dung beetle. The author is looking for funding in order to have the novel proofread and to purchase the appropriate licenses to publish it. It’s interesting and quirky and I’m looking forward to it succeeding.

Today I discovered the Kickstarter I wished I would have known about sooner: To Be or Not To Be, That is the Adventure. The creator is Ryan North, a comic book writer. Holy beans is this project was amazing! North has combined the fun of a choose-your-own-adventure book with awesomeness of Hamlet. Take away the Shakespearean language, add in North’s funny-filled writing, add splashes of art from well-known artists, and you have this book! This project was one of the most successful the site has ever had with almost 3,000% of the original amount funded. The good news for non-backers like myself interested in To Be or Not To Be, is that North is planning on printing copies of the book and they will be distributed and sold through the regular literary channels.

Now, I just have to keep myself away from Kickstarter’s Publishing page …

Last, but by no means least, the Kickstarter I’m looking forward to will be coming from    Wrought Iron Games in their quest to fund Edgar: an alternate history game involving Victorian England, Edgar Allen Poe, Jack the Ripper, and others. It was just last weekend that my husband and I were brainstorming the number of videogames that are rooted in literature or lit-themed. We could come up with only three. It was the very next day that I discovered Edgar. Their site says that they will be creating a Kickstarter to fund the game when they are finished with the majority of the game. Until then, I will be keeping an eye out!

Which projects are you backing?

Kickstarters mentioned in this post:

Around the Internet: the everyday sexism project

Aside

Around the Internet: the everyday sexism project

Initially targeted at stories within the British workplace, the everyday sexism project has quickly gained an international audience with a premise that resonates. It’s simple: sharing experiences of sexism in an effort to work toward equality.

There are several ways you can share and view stories of sexism in everyday life. You can check out the homepage that updates in real-time, email the creator (laura[at]everydaysexism.com), and follow/tweet the project. There are entries from both men and women describing their experiences. Reading the stories can be cathartic, maddening, disappointing, and educational.

It is definitely worth a look — and what I think is an important step in understanding the problem of inequality in an effort to eradicate it.

[Around the Internet will be a series of posts about my favorite websites — both popular and otherwise. This is the first post!]

<Thank you to for hey.pictures making the image available for reuse.>