Link Roundup: August 2021

Microtonal reharmonizations of “Red Dress”: mostly a capella version by Stephen Weigel, and synthwave version by FAST-fast – In case you were wondering what this song would sound like if all the backing were in tune with Sarah.  I’m just going to say that this is what I was hearing a glimmer of from the beginning.

Reflections on Jason Voorhees, Virginity in Horror, and the Specter of the Anti-Sex Killer | Ace Theist – A deep examination of how slasher films–especially Friday the 13th–are said to kill off characters who have sex, and leave virgins as survivors.  These supposed tropes are not entirely supported by the text, and it seems that characters who show sex or nudity on screen always die, but the survivors are rarely described as virgins.  Nonetheless, the reading of Jason Voorhees as anti-sexual has some weight to it, and is particularly interesting in light of how popular Jason is as a character.  Jason as an asexual icon is… fairly problematic to say the least.  But I’m reminded of the discourse on queer-coded villains–on the one hand, it’s kind of terrible that there’s an association between queerness and villainy, but on the other hand, villains are actually awesome.

The Board Games That Ask You to Reenact Colonialism | The Atlantic – Hey, I wrote about this topic once too, but it’s good to get more of a journalistic take.  I have since played Spirit Island, a game well known for being explicitly anti-colonialist.  I rate it highly!  It’s a bit on the complex side, but it combines all the best ideas in cooperative board game design with a novel and compelling theme.

Some Thoughts about Transracial adoption | T1J (video, 17 min) – A good introduction to the issue of White parents adopting children of color.  I didn’t think this would be personally relevant, but it occurred to me that there’s a lot of common ground between transracial adoption and people of mixed race.

Envy | Contrapoints (video, 1:48 hours) – As an essayist, I’m very impressed by Natalie (and her team)’s ability to take a single idea that we don’t usually think about, and identify it as a throughline in human society.  Envy, that is the pain felt at other people’s success, can motivate calls for justice and equality.  However, as she argues, envy is not itself a desire for justice, and it can be a destructive, or even self-destructive force.  We can’t (entirely) change the way we feel, but we can recognize when our feelings are leading us wrong.

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