pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

Without further ado, these are the articles I’ve been reading and thinking about this week.  I’m trying something new and not breaking them down into categories, mostly because I’m lazy.

What the U.S. Would Look Like if it Mirrored the Main Characters on Prime-Time Network Television (Think Progress)

I’m not sure there will be any real surprises here, but it’s worth looking at some of the data all the same.  According to the statistics put together by Alyssa Rosenberg:

-Half the population would be white men.

-Overall, 57 percent of the population would be men.

-34 percent of the world would be white women

-31.8 percent of the population would work for the police or some sort of federal law enforcement agency.

-9.7 percent of us would be doctors.

-2.6 percent of us would be criminals.

Just something to think about.  Obviously we need better representation on TV, but this really puts it into stark numbers for us.

How Amazon and Goodreads Could Lose Their Best Readers (Salon)

Chances are that if you’re not in the book blogging community, you haven’t heard much (if anything) about what’s been happening on Goodreads.  The gist of it is this: Goodreads deleted reviews without warning or prior notice as part of their “terms of service.”  The whole thing was weird and shady, and the authors of the reviews are understandably upset.  Some blame this change in TOS on the merger with Amazon, while others seem to think that a few authors made a stink about negative reviews on their books.  Whatever you choose to believe, it’s hard to argue with the fact that it was handled poorly and was shady as hell.

Consider this: 

This latest pang in Goodreads’ growing pains is more than just an instance of poor social network management. It raises broader issues about literary culture and conversations, how they happen and who owns and controls them. The vast majority of the content on Goodreads is generated by the site’s users. As Alf Aldavan, another protester, explained it to me, longtime Goodreads members “don’t feel like users or customers. They feel like contributors, because they are: library data and reviews content are their work, as well as the actual data GR sells. In a community of people contributing work/content for free, contributors have expectations of respect for that work. Top contributors’ reviews were removed and there were threats to close their account.”

I have hundreds of reviews on Goodreads and it’s where I keep track of all my reading data.  I’m displeased with how Goodreads is handling this.  I think there’s a great discussion to be had about who owns content and what it means to upload it to a site.  I don’t know.  Is this just the risk you take when you post your work on the internet?

Who is to Blame When a Man Cheats? (Slate)

…According to one revenge website, only the woman he cheated with is.  If that isn’t disturbing/depressing enough, consider this:

The belief that women are the ones mainly, if not solely, responsible for men’s choice to cheat is made all the more apparent when you realize that the cheating men are spared having their information made public, often because the women writing in want to keep the relationship together.

What the actual fuck, ladies?  Why are we doing this to ourselves–to each other?

People of all genders and sexual orientations and kinks and familial arrangements: If you’re old enough to have your heart broken, you need to be mature enough to handle it like an adult. Party inappropriately. Sleep around. Whine to your friends—that’s what they are there for. Listen to sad music while curled up in a ball crying on the floor. Fantasize about getting your revenge, if you want. But whatever you do, don’t actually try to get revenge, either on your ex or the woman you blame because you’ve absorbed the idiotic notion that anyone other than the man behind the penis is responsible for where the penis goes. The only person who looks bad when you do that is you

That is sound advice–for all of us.

What did you read this week that got you thinking?

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