Link Roundup: January 2020

I’m back from break, and I bring you links.

Christmas With The Kranks Is A Movie About Cults | Jack Saint (video) – Christmas with the Kranks is a Christmas comedy about a couple that decides to take a vacation on Christmas, but then the village gets wind of them and turns against them.  I’m pretty sure the movie is just taking the side of the creepy village, but Jack Saint ignores this interpretation for humorous effect, and explains a different reading.  I was thinking about this when PZ showed a real letter he received citing him for Christmas violations.

Music for Grocery Stores | Tris Mamone – Tris proposes that we should play more ambient music in public spaces.  I enjoyed this because it felt like a synthesis of two things I have written about: the ethical question of music in public spaces, and the appeal of drone music.  I think there’s a case to be made here–ambient music is the one thing in my library that my husband can stand despite having no appreciation for it.  Although, one thing that has developed out of my interest in ambient music is an ability to actively dislike some of the stuff, so even if everyone else shrugged off the mild piano of Music For Airports, I have to say it might offend my own sensibilities!

The Walking Sim Is a Genuinely New Genre, And No One Fully Understands It | Vice – You may recall my interest in walking sims from an article I wrote last year.  Vice reflects on the upward trend of walking sims, and speculates on their future.  Contrary to the article, I do not think Death Stranding is a walking sim–although it does literally simulate walking.  I have to say, I was completely ignoring news about Death Stranding, but I perked up when people said it was a walking simulator, and that’s one of the big reasons I played it.  In truth, the game has more combat than I would have liked.

The cost of being a woman who covers video games | Kotaku – A great overview of the past decade of misogyny in gaming.  It’s not just about gamergate, but gamergate was certainly a major part.

Abuse of Abuse | Skepchick – A great article correcting some misconceptions about abusive relationships, written from an expert point of view.

Female Only Spaces | Andreas Avester – Andreas shares some personal experiences being included in female only spaces when he didn’t want to be.  TERFs spend a lot of time supposedly defending female only spaces, but it’s better for everyone when these spaces are opt-in.

Canceling | ContraPoints (video) – It’s a 100 minute video, mostly Natalie responding to her Twitter-related controversies.  I couldn’t blame anyone for skipping it, but I’m linking for the opportunity to briefly comment.

I maintain my position that cancel culture–as a description of the problems with internet social justice–is strictly inferior to “callout culture”, which at least put the focus on harassment, not popular creators losing business.  I hate that Natalie is trying to rehabilitate the concept of cancel culture.  Nonetheless, it’s true enough that people get harassed for tenuous reasons, and I feel that happened to Natalie.

And despite being weighed down by the baggage of “cancel culture”, Natalie still makes a few insightful observations.  For example people seem to have this idea that each person is good or bad, and when someone makes a mistake it’s like their mask slipped and we need to uncover them for what they are.  She also talks about how people expect immediate apologies when slow apologies are probably better.  Well, you know me, I’m just against the whole public apology ritual.


  1. says

    Thanks for the feature!

    Music for Grocery Stores | Tris Mamone – Tris proposes that we should play more ambient music in public spaces.

    Personally, I prefer there to be no music at all in public places like shops. If they must insist upon some music, at least keep it relatively silent. For me it is impossible to go shopping without earbuds. The music in most stores irritates me. When said music is relatively silent, I can just turn up the volume of whatever sounds my mobile phone is playing in my earbuds. (Even if listening music at high volumes is potentially harmful.) When the background music in some shop is loud, then that’s just terrible, and I cannot even do anything about it.

    By the way, shopping with my ears constantly plugged is problematic, because I routinely fail to hear whatever some other person could be telling me. For example, the cashier asking something, or another person asking me to let them walk past me in some narrow isle. Unfortunately, it’s not like shops give me much choice.

    And clothing shops are the worst. My earbuds are with wires, so I must remove them whenever I try on some clothes that I consider purchasing. Those moments during which I am forced to listen to irritating music are annoying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *