Often in literary criticism, writers are told that a character isn’t likable, as if a character’s likability is directly proportional to the quality of a novel’s writing. This is particularly true for women in fiction. In literature, as in life, the rules are all too often different for girls. There are many instances in which an unlikable man is billed as an antihero, earning a special term to explain those ways in which he deviates from the norm, the traditionally likable. The list, beginning with Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, is long. An unlikable man is inscrutably interesting, dark, or tormented, but ultimately compelling, even when he might behave in distasteful ways. This is the only explanation I can come up with for the popularity of, say, the novels of Philip Roth, who is one hell of a writer but who also practically revels in the unlikability of his men, with their neuroses and self-loathing (and, of course, humanity) boldly on display from one page to the next.

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)

(via katherinestasaph)

bubonickitten:

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

(via katherinestasaph)

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.

If you were a book
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)

(via vunderbarh)

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.

ifpaintingscouldtext:

Raphael | Detail, Sistine Madonna | 1512

GPO crocodalerock and I.

ifpaintingscouldtext:

Raphael | Detail, Sistine Madonna | 1512

GPO crocodalerock and I.

hndrk:

Corynne Charby - Boule de Flipper

Sabina posted this song a while ago, but I can’t seem to find the link now. I’m a sucker for 80s Europop in general and French girls in particular, so naturally I love this.

There’s just such a relatable vibe to those classic 80s pop sounds, like “my two biggest fears are the persistent threat of nuclear annihilation and my hair not looking fabulous”.

I feel like that all the time.

You should consider that middle paragraph your notice to follow hndrk.

While you’re at it, follow oneweekoneband (which he runs, and which is awesome, and I’m not just saying that because he once let me write for it).

YES. YES YES YES.

There’s something else here too, though, and that’s the fact the soldier Eric Bolling insulted is a woman. Bolling simply doesn’t hold a female pilot in the same regard as he holds her male counterparts. He doesn’t believe she commands the same respect from him, he may (likely) believe she doesn’t belong in the military at all. However self-aware of this he is I don’t know, but he has far less of a problem with someone (including, obviously, himself) disrespecting a female soldier than a male soldier. Period.

Just ask, “would Eric Bolling have made a joke about ‘balls on the ground’?”

The answer is no.

They say you can get one and end it all there, but once you have two, you’ll never be able to stop.

#tattoos and #bikes.