I'm proudly showing her the emoticon on my smartphone.
Me:Jie, look—the Android Alien is winking!
Sister:Oh, that's cute...
She realizes what I just called it, looks at me strangely.
Sister:... It's not an alien—it's an Android.
Not as good as the time she informed me that the "S.C." in "Takashimaya S.C." stands for "shopping centre"—I was expecting it to be some fancy Japanese term, like shokanuniyamachantina (ie. nonsense)—but it was funny.
Because of my time and crowd in college, I’ve very thankfully come to have a sharper-than-the-“norm” radar for gender matters (read: not the sharpest by any stretch of the imagination, but I do care), and it affects the way I approach my industry of aspiration, entertainment. I think its high time I use this space to log some of the reading material I come across on the issue:
The success of Marvel Studios has allowed it to operate by its own rules, so perhaps it’s not surprising that its top executives neither knew nor cared that dropping Patty Jenkins as director of its Thor sequel would shock Hollywood. But perhaps the studio didn’t count on shocking Natalie Portman, who is said to be deeply upset by the decision.
While the parties spun the Dec. 6 parting as an amicable split over creative differences, sources say Jenkins was fired without warning from a job that would have made her the first woman to direct a superhero tentpole. The news was out before anyone had told Portman, who had strongly urged Marvel to hire the director of 2003’sMonster (a film that won Charlize Theron her Oscar). According to sources, Portman had begun to question whether she wanted to continue acting at all right now — possibly for several years — because she wants to spend time with her baby boy, who was born in June. Portman was said to be re-engaged in Thor 2 because of Jenkins’ involvement and especially proud that she would have played a role in opening the door for a woman to direct such a film. The Oscar winner is contractually obligated to stay with the project and Marvel is now said to be working overtime to smooth over the situation by including her in discussions about whom to hire as a replacement.
Meanwhile, insiders are telling widely divergent stories about why Marvel dropped Jenkins. A source with firsthand knowledge of the production says Marvel became concerned that Jenkins was not moving decisively enough and feared the film might miss its November 2013 release date. Exactly how Jenkins should have acted more decisively is unclear since no script was in place. Marvel had commissioned one from Don Payne before Jenkins came onto the project in October, but the studio now wants a rewrite.
Still, the source says the company felt she showed “a lack of overall clarity in her choices,” which led to concern that the process would be “difficult.”
But an insider in Jenkins’ camp says the lack of clarity might be on Marvel’s part. This person says Jenkins was so explicit about her vision for the film that she didn’t expect to be hired in the first place. The source speculates that Marvel executives might have been won over initially by Portman’s enthusiasm for Jenkins but then, “when they started to interview writers for the rewrite … may have decided they really weren’t comfortable.”
Marvel had certain things they needed to achieve, says another source. There were constraints on what she could do creatively.
These sources say Jenkins respects Marvel’s imperatives and still wants to work with the company. She also doesn’t want this to be seen as gender-related, though that might be inevitable. A recent Annenberg study showed women directed only 3.6 percent of the top-grossing movies of 2009.
The directors Marvel is now considering to replace Jenkins — Game of Thrones vets Daniel Minahan and Alan Taylor — are both men.
Personally, I sincerely admire Ms. Slaughter, and much of what she wrote about her struggles truly resonates with me—but I’m inclined to agree that the concept of “having it all” is inherently problematic, the way we’ve characterized it as a society. Yet I wouldn’t have caught onto this without Ms. Slaughter’s article in the first place! So I suppose Discourse itself wins, and I’d be more than grateful for you, Reader, to jump right in.
Bye, Los Angeles. Barely six months, half of them spent settling in and getting used to it being home, but it happened, and I will miss you and your beautiful people. Thanks for the Cali driver’s license!
Bye, USA. It’s been a phenomenal four years.
Apologies to the friends I didn’t manage to see and say a special goodbye to, but perhaps that’s a wonderful thing, that our last images of each other were happy and carefree. Just saying goodbye to Iris alone had me crying at 9am this morning.
There’s a strong shared sense amongst a bunch of us that I’ll be back, and in Los Angeles, no less. I hope we’re right!
I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Daniel Heimpel, and I am a journalist gone-rogue with a radical idea: that solution-based journalism can dramatically improve the foster care system and thereby inspire a Child-Centered Political Movement.
In 2006, I started covering foster care as a journalist, largely because of personal experience as a mentor to two young men who have both since “aged out” of the system. I watched them struggle to transition into adulthood and came to understand the myriad adverse experiences that had left them facing adulthood at an unfair deficit compared to myself. This started what is now an all-consuming passion for improving the child welfare system with the one skill I have – journalism.
This work has been — and is — the great adventure of my life.
Through the writing I will submit to HelloGiggles, I hope to inspire your action and commitment to this cause. If you are already interested in learning more and get involved more deeply, I have a crazy idea… climb a 14,000-foot peak with me and a group of former foster youth and child advocates next month.
There are approximately 12 million Americans who have experienced foster care in America, with over 400,000 children in the system today. While the story we so often hear is laced with the hardship these children and adults have to endure, there is another — wholly different – story: one etched in resilience and strength.
California Youth Connection (CYC), a foster youth-run and led legislative advocacy organization, is composed of hundreds of current and former foster youth who are the embodiment of that inspirational story. Since CYC was founded in 1988, it has grown into powerful political force, not only bending the arc of California’s public policy around foster care, but empowering thousands of youth to speak directly to power. The example set by CYC and its young leaders has inspired as many as 106 youth-driven advocacy groups across the nation.
So, I am combining one of my passions — mountaineering — with fundraising for this important cause. On July 21st of this year, a group of climbers and myself will take the Southern route up 14,180-foot Mt. Shasta. This southern Cascade is a great introductory climb for people who want a gateway into larger more technical peaks.
We have set up a web-based giving platform so that anyone interested in the climb can join us and raise funds to support CYC’s advocacy and youth empowerment work. In addition to joining us for the climb, you can support CYC by sponsoring or donating to the cause, HERE.
Please join me in helping foster youth reach new heights.
YES. YES YES YES! Cannot wait to see this show some day. :)
The bittersweet romantic musical “Once” was the unexpectedly dominant winner at the 66th annual Tony Awards on Sunday night, winning best musical, best actor and six other Tonys in a highly competitive year for Broadway honors.