When women are unlikable, it becomes a point of obsession in critical conversations by professional and amateur critics alike. Why are these women daring to flaunt convention? Why aren’t they making themselves likable (and therefore acceptable) to polite society? In a Publishers Weekly interview with Claire Messud about her novel The Woman Upstairs, which features a rather ‘unlikable’ protagonist, Nora, who is better, bereft, and downright angry about what her life has become, the interviewer said, ‘I wouldn’t want to be friends with Nora, would you? Her outlook is almost unbearably grim.’ And there we have it. A reader was here to make friends with the characters in a book and she didn’t like what she found.
Messud, for her part, had a sharp response to her interviewer.
For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? Would you want to be friends with Mickey Sabbath? Saleem Sinai? Hamlet? Krapp? Oedipus? Oscao Wao? Antigone? Raskolnikov? Any of the characters in The Corrections? Any of the characters in Infinite Jest? Any of the characters in anything Pynchon has ever written? Or Martin Amis? Or Orhan Pamuk? Or Alice Munro, for that matter? If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t ‘Is this a potential friend for me?’ but ‘Is this character alive?’
Perhaps, then, unlikable characters, the ones who are the most human, are also the ones who are the most alive. Perhaps this intimacy makes us uncomfortable because we don’t dare be so alive. — Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist (via brutereason)
do you ever get that feeling that your stats are wildly unbalanced
like say someone created you as a game character and you’re supposed to be a rogue but in their infinite wisdom they have consistently used up all your skill points on magic or some shit that isn’t really relevant to your class (like you can’t even equip the appropriate armor and weapons, that’s how mismatched your stats are)
but you’re too far into the game to start over so you just kind of stumble around dying a lot and hoping your party bails you out because you don’t even have enough money to buy healing items
that metaphor may or may not have gotten away from me
If there’s anything I underestimate about myself, it’s my ability to fuck things up, and then make things compoundedly worse when I attempt to explain … anything, anything at all.
I’d lick my fingers
and flip your pages,
until your spine creased
and you lay spent,
with nothing else to offer.
Then, I’d cup you in my palms
and read you again. — (via daddyslittleflame)
Sometimes I get more out of film scenes by themselves that within the film. Maybe I didn’t notice the depth of sorrow in his eyes or the steely set of her jaw, because I was too busy considering it as part of the whole, because I was a little bit numbed to their powers after an hour and a half, because I was distracted by the story.
Some things can rip you apart more when taken out of context than when buried amongst other pieces of a whole.
When I tell people I work in film, so many say things like ‘wow, that must be cool and exciting.’
What they don’t realize is just in the past week I’ve been sent into weirdly vivid flashbacks by a happymeal toy [for a semi-famous line of children’s products I worked several videos for, directed by an Emmy-award winning director], spent ten minutes trying to get removed from an anti-drug campaign mailing list [for a video I edited two years ago], and watched Buzzfeed videos in which the fact I knew the actors made them so much more hilarious [but nobody understood why I was laughing so hard and it was impossible to explain].
Other than the hours, it’s truly the least rock-star life possible.