What I'm Reading, Vol. Twenty-Nine

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's Just a (Thanksgiving Dinner) Fantasy (via The New York Times)
In many ways, Thanksgiving is the most hidebound of holidays, with a preordained bill of fare that feels as though it hasn't changed an iota since the pilgrims. But if you ask people what sort of Thanksgiving they would stage if they didn't have to follow the rules, the responses suggest that much of the country possesses a roiling, repressed fantasy life.

Yes, Sign Language Has Accents (via io9)
Sometimes it's as simple as certain signs being consistently different. These signs allow people to identify different regional variations in language. It's like the way we know that someone who says, "Don't take your underwear off in the elevator anymore -- they have cameras, you moron," is American, and someone who says, "Don't take your pants off in the life -- they have cameras, you daft git," is British. Signs for "picnic," for some reason, appear to vary widely. Different signing communities have different nicknames for public figures. (One of Bill Clinton's sign language nicknames is the undoing of a zipper.) It seems that white people and black people generally have different signs for "boss," "school," and flirt."

Is Serial Podcast Problematic (via Spook Magazine)
When announcing the spin off, Ira Glass himself stated: "Our hope is to give you the same experience you get from a great HBO or Netflix series, where you get caught up with the characters and the thing unfolds week after week, adn you just have to hear what happens next, but with a story that's  true. And no pictures. Like House of Cards or Game of Thrones  but you can enjoy it while you're driving." This entertainment factor leaves a bitter taste because Lee isn't Laura Palmer, she can't be resurrected in a fictional land of flashbacks and surreal dream sequences. Lee is real and she's dead. As suss as I seem about the investigation Koenig and co are producing, I'm not a conscious objector: I'm a conscious listener and fan aware that it's an ethically murky endeavour. I'll keep digging and listening and questioning and discussing and getting lost in Reddit holes. Because as horribly voyeuristic as it can feel, and potentially unethical as it seems, Serial is totally thrilling. That much I do know.

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