Category Archives: Read Me!

Reading is fundamental. Books, etc.

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Mad Men Season Six Recap: The Doorway

“Life will eventually end and someone else will get the bill.”

Mad Men has returned, and I am happy to report that we are at dateline December, 1967. Yes, this means we skipped over the “Summer of Love” but considering that the show is set in New York, not San Fran, and the Summer of Love was more about the legend of what happened rather than the actual experience itself, I think that’s for the best.

MeganAutograph

No instead we went to Hawaii for Xmas–or at least Don and Megan (or shall we call her Corinne, like everyone else seems to?) did. Not for fun, but to learn more about the Royal Hawaiian Hotel so Don can mangle the pitch later on.

I thought the fact that everyone around them mistook Megan for her character was telling. Don looks at her now like he has no idea who she is anymore. Perhaps now to him she might as well be Corinne.

(For the rest of anibundel’s recap, click here. To see all her Mad Men posts, click here.)

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Game of Thrones Season Three Recap: “Dark Wings Dark Words”

Although most messages brought by ravens are standard and innocuous, they are also linked to ominous tidings, giving rise to the phrase “Dark wings, dark words”.  -From the GoT wiki

It was only fitting this week that we opened with Bran dreaming of Ravens, as this week was one full of people receiving dark news, and making fateful decisions based on those tidings. Bran learns he’s going to meet people. Robb and Jon Snow both learn people they love are probably dead. Margaery learns that she’s engaged to a monster. Poor Arya and Brienne learn that the problem with people is that they open their mouths.

Then there’s Theon….

(For the rest of anibundel’s recap, click here. To see all her Game of Thrones posts, click here.)

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Doctor Who Recap “The Rings of Akhaten”

After last week’s frustrating re-re-meeting of Clara (Oswald), we really didn’t have anywhere to go but up. The truth is, we could have had a half-decent episode, and I would have been overjoyed.

Clara:  So what’s it made of, time?  I mean, if you can just row right through it it’s got to be made of stuff like jam’s made of strawberries.  So what’s it made of?
The Doctor:  Well not strawberries.  No.  No, no, no.  That would be unacceptable.

Instead we had a fantastic one. This was Neil Cross’ first time out with Doctor Who. (Neil Cross, for those who don’t know, is the man who wrote Luther–you do watch Luther yes? No? Hie thee to Netflix and go watch it. Now. This recap will be here when you get back, promise.) Perhaps because it was his first time out, or perhaps because he has the idea that the adventure is–I don’t know–maybe front and center of the story? This was the first Doctor Who adventure in quite some time where I was so caught up in the action, I wasn’t taking notes about character behavior, or fretting about deeper arcs. Not to say that we didn’t learn more about out characters this week. We learned plenty of Clara’s personal back story. It was just nice to be reminded that one can in fact have both.

(For the rest of anibundel’s recap, click here. To see all her Doctor Who posts, including older recaps, click here.)

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Game of Thrones Season Three Recap: “Valar Dohaeris”

Welcome back my friends, to the show that is testing our limit of how many story lines and characters the human mind can handle in one television show. For the book readers, calm your frothing at the mouth. Though the series hits its roller coaster ride stride in this installment more than any other, this episode, like every story, dives in slowly, making sure you remember who is who and where we last left them. If this episode felt like it was “checking in,” that because for a good half of it, we mostly were.

Among the stories that did not move forward so much as they informed us where they stood, were Sam and the Black Brothers Jon has left behind. The show relegated to the cold open a quick reminder of the real threat facing the kingdom of the White Walkers, and Old Bears Mormont’s plan to hightail it back to the Wall. then poof, we moved on. Starks in general seemed to be passed over quickly. We saw nothing of Arya, though we did see what became of Harranhaal now that’s she left. Robb shows up to discover the place looking worse that usual–accompanied oddly by Catelyn–in the books it makes sense, because we only see things through her eyes. With that no longer necessary, she just feels stuck in places she doesn’t belong. Tywin left the place to The Mountain That Rides, and apparently his idea of interior decoration requires a couple of hundred dead bodies in a courtyard. Then we moved on.

We saw nothing of Bran. Sansa is apparently sitting around playing games. “Because the truth is always terrible or boring.” Sansa is a fool, but we knew that. I wonder how confusing it is to the audience that only last episode we saw her refusing to leave with Littlefinger, only for her to be practically begging to go now. I’m afraid the truth is Sansa’s life is either always terrible or boring. Ros and Shae’s heart to heart was probably the most interesting part of the check in. Ros is mentally moving on from her role as a whore and her move upwards into a position of power. Shae may have moved up in the world, but she seems less willing to mentally make that leap and fake it till she makes it. Her unwillingness to play Sansa’s games show a stubborn close mindedness to the possibilities that could be there. The most interesting bit though was Ros’ tactical admission that Littlefinger is as obsessed with Sansa as he once was with her mother. Of course, Sansa is clueless that she even has this power over him…

As for those whose stories did move forward, power was the name of the game.

(For the rest of anibundel’s recap, click here. To see all her Game of Thrones posts, click here.)

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Doctor Who: The Bells of St John Recap

We should start with the Bells of St. John. It turns out they are the phone inside the TARDIS telephone box (which reads “St. John’s Ambulance”).

Clara:  Why don’t I have the internet?
The Doctor:  It’s 1207.
Clara:  I have half-past three.  Am I phoning a different time zone?

That’s the second time I’ve ever seen the TARDIS phone ring, and the first time it’s been on the receiving end of a phone call. Clara Oswald was calling it looking for tech support. The show took pains to stress the name, and make it clear that she’s a different Clara from the Christmas special, who was Clara Oswin. The Doctor demands to know how she got this number, and Clara responds “The woman in the shop wrote it down. She said it’s the best help line out there.”

The woman in the shop? Well that’s interesting. Did she happen to have a mop of curly hair? Or, this being London, and her being a shop girl, did she have blonde lanky hair, ginormous eyes and a pop music career back in the 1990s?

That question never got answered. It’s not good that it was the one thing I really wanted to know the answer to in the entire episode, is it?

(For the rest of anibundel’s recap, click here. To see all her Doctor Who posts, including the Bells of St John’s Prequel, click here.)

More on Doctor Who “Series Seven Part Two: Return To Series Seven”

We’ve got a clip from the opening episode, “The Bells of St. John:”

After the jump, titles for all the upcoming episodes for this half of the season, except Moffat’s finale.

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Happy Birthday, Trayvon

What should have been a celebration of Trayvon Martin’s 18th birthday has turned into another court date as his parents continue to seek justice for their son.

Here is Jasiri X’s powerful tribute to Trayvon, “A Song for Trayvon”:

And here is a poem written by @SadBastardBar which Emily L. Hauser posted last year:

For You, Who Used to Be

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Downton Abbey Season Three: Hammers of Glass

“An aristocrat without servants is as much use to the county as a glass hammer” – The Dowager

Downton Season Three has finally arrived in the states, and PBS chose to start us off in grand fashion. Since they won’t spend the money to broadcast the same day as ITV does, the least they can do for us Americans who didn’t pirate and watch it back last fall is turn that return into an event. As last year, they chose to start off tonight with episodes one and two back to back, woven nearly seamlessly into one two hour episode. This works to their advantage in two ways–most importantly, it leaves the final slot of the season open for the Christmas special. Second, and nearly as important, it ran over the fact that the first episode is one long build up for a wedding….that we don’t actually get to see.

Yes, Matthew and Mary got married. We had a full hour of build up in the first episode. We had the opening of the second episode getting everyone to the church. We saw the kitchen preparations for the Grand Feast. We saw Mary ride to the church through the town in footage that was deliberately modeled on Kate and William’s wedding in order to tie this to the sense that this is how the aristocracy has always done it, and to give us the sense that, though the world is obviously changing, 90 years later what’s left will still be doing it the same way. We made it to the altar…and then we skipped ahead to after the honeymoon. because this is not the Story of Matthew and Mary’s Wedding.

This, and always has been, a story larger than that. This is the story for the struggle for Downton in the face of a changing world.

(For the rest of the recap, click here. Xposted from IShouldHaveBeenABlogger)

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The “Make Me Asian” App: This Is A Thing That Exists

Today in Amazingly Racist Things

Really. This is a thing that exists.

The “Make Me Asian” app claims “this is just a fun app [that] lets you indulge you and your friends,” according to its description on the Google Play store.

“You can for a few seconds make himself a Chinese, Japanese, Korean or any other Asians,” reads the description of the app, created by user KimberyDeiss, in broken English.

An online campaign called 18 Million Rising — named after the number of Asian-Americans in the United States — called the app’s depictions of Asians and Native Americans “racist and offensive.”

A similar app, “Make Me Indian,” from the same maker has also recently drawn criticism.

Oh really? Drawn criticisms? I wonder why. What does that do? Drop a turban on your head?

Actually, on second thought, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.

What’s next? A “Make Me Black” app, that plops an afro on your head and gold chains around your neck? Isn’t there supposed to be app quality control? Or is that only in the Apple store? Way to make Apple look good today, Google.

I know your motto is “Don’t Be Evil,” but you might want to add “Don’t Be Stupid” as an addendum to it, as obviously these things are not mutually exclusive.

And Now, Some Words Of Comfort

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

– Mister Rogers

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