I read a lot. This is a selection of what I read this week (11/16/20 through 11/22/2020) that I think you should read, too.
*Nicola Dall’asen’s How Makeup Artist Terri Bryant Is Using Her Parkinson’s Diagnosis to Reinvent Makeup for Allure: Guide Beauty is an accessible makeup brand utilizing universal design standards to make beauty products more accessible to enthusiasts whose hands shake or otherwise render application by the usual means difficult. It makes a clear case for more brands to consider redesigning their products for use by a wider, more inclusive audience.
*Christopher Jobson’s When TV Logos Were Physical Objects for Colossal: HBO, BBC, and the Eurovision Song Contest have all created logo “animations” using practical effects, but they certainly appear as if drawn. It’s super interesting to learn how each studio made the “magic” happen! A must read for artists and animation and special effects fans.
*Kim Lacapria’s Are Flamingo Egg Yolks Pink? for Snopes: I had no idea that there was an urban legend about flamingo egg yolks being pink, but my life is better knowing that it exists. They aren’t, by the way, but I still find the story amusing and fun. God knows we need more amusement and fun these days.
*Tessa McLean’s The story behind that weird lever at the top of the stairs in old SF homes for SFGate: Even if you’ve never been inside an older home in San Francisco (I haven’t either, for the record), this is still a neat read for anyone interested in architectural history.
*Angela Sterritt’s Indigenous languages recognize gender states not even named in English for The Globe and Mail: As mentioned before on here, the criticism that genders other than “male” and “female” exist is a newfangled postmodern invention isn’t historically or anthropologically accurate. Indigenous tribes have recognized genders beyond the binary for millennia, and Anishinaabe artist and activist Fallon Andy uses multimedia to share this reality as well as the reality of violence against people under the transgender umbrella.
As always, my weeklies/weeklies-ish:
*Huda Fahmy’s Yes I’m Hot in This
*Phylecia Miller and Jules Rivera’s Hi, Phylecia!
*Taejoon Park’s Lookism
*Jules Rivera’s Mark Trail
*Linda Sejic’s Punderworld
*Jessi Sharon’s The Sea in You
*Rachel Smythe’s Lore Olympus
*Sensaga’s Ham and Mat
*Steenz’s Heart of the City
As far as I know, only the first two volumes of Kumiko Suekane’s Versailles of the Dead are available in English. I read them both, and had quite a bit of swashbuckling zombie horror fun even though I do often feel oversaturated by the genre sometimes. But Suekane sets the story in pre-revolutionary France, following Marie Antoinette’s twin brother filling in her dauphine role after she’s brutally killed by zombies during the carriage ride from Austria. That’s not a spoiler; it’s literally in the book description. There’s also demons, angels, deception, resurrection, and jewel thievery to make things all the more delightful and over-the-top. I plan to continue with the series if more volumes start getting translated or my Japanese improves. Whichever comes first.
Completed I, Rigoberta Menchú this week, which started off outlining the ways in which her K’iche’ people and other indigenous Guatemalans adapted Catholicism alongside their own traditional spiritual beliefs rather than rejecting them entirely. To the Natives, the faith offered another window to the world, and the bible stories often galvanized leaders of the Comité de Unidad Campesina and other indigenous, workers’, and poor peoples’ organizations fighting in the Guatemalan Civil War.
Outside of discussing the death rituals of her tribe, Menchú dedicates the rest of the book to document the exploitative practices of plantation owners that led to an uprising of those they worked to the bone, starved, and charged for basic necessities to the point the laborers were forced to pay debt to their own “employers.” Particular attention is paid to the human rights atrocities committed by presidents Kjell Eugenio Laugerud García and his successor Fernando Romeo Lucas Garcia. Be warned that there are extremely graphic depictions of torture and rape, but it’s also the reality faced by Menchú’s people and their allies and not meant to be read as something salacious or titillating. It’s history, and history is extremely horrific, particularly when colonialism is involved.
(Read this post for information about the testimonio genre and how the book isn’t intended to be read as an autobiography.)
See you next week, fellow bookish buffs!
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