by Josie Kafka
This Week in Katniss
In my quest to waste as much time as possible while constantly chastising myself for doing so, I stumbled onto this post about how to create your own Hunger Games name. The rules are simple (sort of), and resulted in the name Anless T. Napfern for me. Let us know your own Hunger Games names in the comments!
Oh, and check this out:
What Does the Bestselling Fox Say?
The viral YouTube sensation “What Does the Fox Say?” is being made into a children’s book just in time for the upcoming religiously-themed shopping season. Ylvis, the duo behind the weirdest song to ever get 243 million views, has also signed a record deal.
This Week in Casts
• Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) will star opposite David Tennant in the upcoming American remake of Tennant’s Broadchurch, now called Gracepoint.
• Nicholas Lea (best known for his role as Krycek on the X-Files) will have a two-episode arc on Arrow.
• Christopher Lloyd will guest star on the Michael J. Fox Show in the spring.
Alias meets Homeland
The CW has decided that vampires, beasts, and Mark Pellegrino just aren’t enough: they’re interested in pursuing terrorists, too, and are developing a still-untitled show about an FBI agent who goes undercover as a student at an “prestigious New York university” to uncovers a terrorist cabal hiding in plain sight!
Alias Meets the Patty Duke Show
Orphan Black’s second season will premiere April 19, 2014.
This Year in Words
The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2013 has been announced: selfie, defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”
Here’s an excellent overview of the history of selfies from the New Yorker, which reminds us that there are many Words of the Year yet to be announced. And here’s a more personal reflection on how selfies are “a way to tell myself a story about where I am in that particular moment.”
The new J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman show Almost Human netted a positive reaction from Billie: “This could be a terrific science fiction show centered on two complex characters who care about each other. Or it could turn out to be a buddy cop show procedural with a twist that I'll stop watching in a few weeks.”
Abrams and Wyman did the publicity rounds this week, and Abrams clarified the show’s goals: “The story is very different than anything we’ve done before…It is very much a cop procedural show, which is a very familiar show. We’ve seen a million buddy/cop shows, and the fun of that was twisting it in a way that Joel [Wyman] came up with, which is having it set in a place and with specific characters that allow for conflict and cases every week that don’t feel like everything you’ve seen a million times before.”
Joss “Feminist-Hating” Whedon
Joss Whedon, feminist darling, made a speech at the recent Equality Now awards show on how much—and why—he hates the word feminist. Focusing on the word’s last syllable, Whedon explained that “you can't be born an ist. It's not natural. You can't be born a baptist; you have to be baptized. You can't be born an atheist or a communist or a horticulturalist. You have to have these things brought to you. So feminist includes the idea that believing men and women to be equal, believing all people to be people, is not a natural state. That we don't emerge assuming that everybody in the human race is a human, that the idea of equality is just an idea that's imposed on us. That we are indoctrinated with it, that it's an agenda.”
Reactions to the video were mixed. Jezebel liked it, pointing out that Whedon’s suggested replacement genderist might help people understand the feminism is about gender equality rather than misandry. The Atlantic, on the other hand, argues that Whedon got it wrong, since belief in equality is not a “natural state” but rather a social construction just as much as racism, sexism, or horticulturalism.
In that article, Noah Berlatsky explains his dislike of Whedon’s “speech about the word ‘feminism’” that has “no feminists in the speech,” noting that “Whedon…delivers a speech on the term ‘feminist’ without any reference to feminist history, without any apparent awareness of feminist theory, and without even any demonstrated knowledge of the most important objections or conflicts around the term ‘feminist,’ the use of which he is purportedly discussing. Instead, from his position as celebrity and writer, and, one fears, from his position as white man, he takes it upon himself to simply define feminism himself so that he can discard it. The result is what Tania Modleski (who is played by Tatiana Maslany) acidly referred to as 'feminism without women'—equality as erasure.”
Saturday, January 4