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“Welcome to the studio, Dahlia! I am so glad to meet you! Your entrance made me smile! Now let’s get down to business! Tell me about yourself? “.
When I create a new character I have to find out who they really are and what makes them tick! Will they be loud and boisterous? Will they be shy and hold back? Will they run to meet the world or hide behind trees and bushes? It’s great fun to imagine!
Since Dahlia is new, let’s walk this process together. Let’s get a good look at her and ask ourselves some questions.
Here she is, in her great BIGness. As you can see, Dahlia is running! That gives us our first clue. She is ready to meet the world!
(Another little tidbit you can use when creating a character. It is a link to writing a character profile. I can get your wheels turning!)
In order to decide WHO Dahlia is, I look into her face. Her eyes are not like our eyes, but expression and body language are quite helpful.
Dahlia is running. Dahlia is laughing. Dalia is carrying a flower. Dahlia is practically leaping off the ground! I can almost hear the ground shaking! So, she is a “ground shaking” happy elephant.
But wait! She has no tusks! That tells me she is a baby elephant. My imagination is taking off now! Dahlia tromps! … but no… I found out that tromp is not a word… (hmmm…it seemed so fitting). So, Dahlia thumps, stomps, tramples and plows through! Thank you dictionary.com! Love all those words!
Looking again at this picture, I see that Dahlia is also clumsy. She trips, stumbles, tumbles, plunges, sprawls and topples. Even so, she is not bothered by falls. She simply rolls over and gets back up to her feet laughing! “What great fun!” she gigglies, “Let’s do it again!”
This tells me that Dahlia does not take herself too seriously. She is playful, but is she smart?
More of her qualities may surface once the other characters in her story emerge. Bring on the monkeys!
As the above graphic states so wonderfully, for the next couple months I'm hitting the road with my new book, Goats Eat Cans Volume 1, in a desperate attempt to sell some books!
That's right, it's carnival barker time, bitch.
NOTE I shouldn't type the word "bitch". I'm way to lame to pull it off. END NOTE
The tour is being spread into two sections - the first of which is being sponsored by The Virtual Book Tour Cafe and the second of which is being sponsored by my pals at The Literary Underground(basically a bunch of people I now owe favors).
Along the way I'll be doing guest posts, and giving away stuff, and working my ass off to convince you that $1.99 isn't too much to spend for three hundred pages of fart jokes and references to Kim Kardashian's posterior. Sometimes those things are one in the same.
With this Ebook you will learn how you can help preteens in your life deal with emotional monsters in a constructive way. This self-help guide for tweens and adults offers suggestions, wisdom, and encouraging stories that will deflate the worse fears and habits of preteens. Preteens will learn to deal more effectivelywith their worries, insecurities, anger, blame, bullies, and fear itself.
They will discover strategies for making friends, doing better in school, learning how to be happier and more purposeful in life—starting today! This is a must-read book for preteens, teens, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, principals, and all those adults who frequently guide the lives of children.
The 101 SECRETS! are designed to provide inspiration and hope for all tweens by a teacher of thirty-three years. Joe Sottile has taught over 1,000 students, and many of them claim that he was their “favorite teacher” because Joe knew and demonstrated these secrets, the power of words, and humor in the classroom every day.
You are invited to join with other dedicated educators as a part of this growing professional site. The NTRCC is a support center that empowers educators and their students with purpose and passion.
• Do you strive to become an inspiring and empowering teacher?
• Are you a beginning teacher looking for strategies to help you not just survive but thrive in
• Are you a veteran teacher looking for ways to brush up your classroom management so you
can enjoy your teaching career?
TheNew Teacher Resource Coaching Center invites teacher leaders and dedicated educators as a part of this growing professional membership site. The NTRCC is a support center designed for professionals who want to empower their educators and their teaching and students with a purpose and passion.
Members of the center gain unlimited access to a wealth of articles, tip sheets, templates, teleseminars, and other great resources that will help them build their teaching career to the next level.
Specifically, members receive:
1. Access to two monthly teleseminars taught by a professional elementary, middle school or high school educator who knows the tricks of the trade and what works and what doesn't
2. Unlimited support to classroom tested resources including charts, checklists and tip sheets on a wide range of teaching areas
3. Specials, offers and special promotions on various teaching materials and instructional resources offered through the NTRCC.
To become a member, all you have to do is sign up. You'll be prompted to provide a password, contact information and payment registration. Once you receive your access number, you will be able to log-in anytime - 24/7!
More than likely you’re silently saying to yourself, “Oh that’s too bad. It must not have sold well. That poor, poor man.”
Let me assure you, that’s not the case – far from it in fact. The choice to continue the series with someone else was actually mine and mine alone. I never signed a contract for the series as a whole and after my experience with the first book there was no way that was going to happen. It wouldn’t have been the right choice.
I don’t see any reason to go into the details of the “breakup” (for now), but I will say that Forts is moving to greener, less frustrating, and far more professional pastures.
So what does this all mean to you?
Well, it means that the copy of “Fathers and Sons” you no doubt have sitting in a place of prominence on your bookshelf – or next to the crapper, either way. That copy of Forts will very soon be an out of print collectors edition!
That’s right, I said collectors edition and I meant it!
Will you be able to sell it on ebay to pay the rent? Eh, I wouldn’t count on that.
Will you be able to trade it for a pack of gum and maybe a Butterfinger bar? Yep, I think you might be able to pull that off.
Still, your copy is special now. It’s unique. If you sent it to me to get autographed it’s even more unique. You own it, some other people own it, but no one else is ever going to own it – ever. That’s pretty cool, no?
For those of you that haven’t got your hands on a copy yet, a second edition print version of the book will be arriving with a brand new cover before you know it. (Probably within the next few months in fact.) Along with the print version, the book will FINALLY make its way to e-readers everywhere! (This is long overdue.)
Oh, all those editing flubs the original publisher left in – you know, the ones that caused the sentence “This could have been a fantastic book if it had a good editor” to appear in nearly every review. Thankfully those are going to be fixed up for the second edition.
For those of you waiting patiently for “Liars and Thieves,” right around the time the second edition arrives book two is going to hit the shelves! It’s a heck of a lot later than was originally planned, but I’m hoping it’ll be worth the wait.
The nonsense of the past is in the past and hopefully that’s where it’s going to stay. Writing has officially picked up again on the final book in the series and I’m probably only 40,000 words or so from finishing it up.
Forts has a new home, and this is a good thing.
Scratch that and revise: Forts has a new home, and it’s a giggity-great thing.
It’s better than a steaming hot pizza and a tub of ice cream served to you by Rosario Dawson in a French maid’s outfit.
Tomorrow is a BIG day! Tomorrow is the day that Kirby Larson's new book The Friendship Doll comes out! I read this book a few months ago and I adore it. Now, with the entire world about to read this book, I feel very protective. Kind of like sending my child off to school for the first time... Will they like it? Will they love it? Will they be mean to it and bully it? (Not possible, by the way!) Will people appreciate it like I do? This isn't even MY book and I am worked up- I can only imagine how Kirby feels on this- the eve of her book release. There is no turning back now, girl! I am sending good vibes your way!
My copy just shipped from Amazon about 2 hours ago! I hope you get a chance to read this book very soon! Put a hold on it at the library, buy it at the book store, download it on your Nook... your daughters and granddaughters will love this book. After you read it, please leave a post here at The Lemme Library. If you would like a sneak peek, read my review here. Oh- and please remember where you read it first- this is a Newbery 2011 contender....
Wow, we’re zonked and we didn’t even do anything. But the beehive of activity over this weeks New 52 debut was exhausting just to follow on twitter. Yesterday Jim Lee and Geoff Johns made a barnstorming tour of NYC comics shops, calling ahead and then showing up for flash-style 45 minute signings. They hit Manhattan, Hanleys, Forbidden Planet and St. Marks and somewhere in between Lee did an NPR interview.
This enthusiastic blitzkrieg was somewhat reminiscent of the 90s comics days, when Image signings required giant tents, creators did crazy signing tours, and unsold skids of comics were sometimes left in the wake. It was a silly time, yes, but there was genuine fan excitement; one senses Jim Lee’s hand behind some of the current promotion, and there has definitely been excitement generated. Even Marvelites were complimentary, perhaps reaching the zenith when Lee retweeted Marvel’s CB Cebulski retweeting writer Nick Spencer:
“@nickspencer: Don’t care what company it is- anything that has people lined up at Midnight & on the front of @nytimes is great for comics.”
Indeed, it was a feel good day for everyone involved. (Photo via Janelle Asselin.)
As for Justice League 1, its position reminds us of another savior book, New X-Men #144, the debut of the Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely run. This was at the end of comics’ last great slide, a sad time when sales were about at current levels but didn’t have piracy to blame for it. I remember remarking at the time that the orders on New X-Men would indicate the maximum size of the direct market — who wouldn’t want a copy of this hot book by the creators of FLEX MENTALLO? According to Comichron, New X-men #114 sold some 144,835 copies. JL’s sales are somewhere north of 200,000 so we’re actually doing BETTER by that measure.
Speaking of Comichron, proprietor John Jackson Miller has made some updates to the site, in light of all the attention his figures are getting:
hindsight- understanding the nature of an event after it has happened; “hindsight is always better than foresight”.Most all of us have had opportunities to look back on in our lives and see there was a path set before us to follow! Whether or not we have pursued that path is up to us. As I look back, even my disappointments were part of my present.
1. My childhood was fertile ground for make-believe. We had dress up clothes and plenty of games and things to keep us busy. I always LOVED dolls and I remember my imagination being so keen that I could believe my dolls were almost real.
2. In Jr. High school I met a friend name Ronnie Burton. She made the most wonderful cartoons. I still remember how she drew the ears and the hair. She amazed me! Soon I began drawing my own cartoons. Just a few weeks ago we met up at our high school reunion. She is still my friend after all these years and she is still doing amazing art!
3. When my children were young I read them book after book. I loved reading them stories. My favorite stories were the ones that made us laugh and laugh. Some of our favorites are Ruby the Copycat, Dabble Duck, But No Elephants, Patrick and Ted, Duncan and Dolores, Frog and Toad, Owl at Home and more. Anyone ever read Julie Andrew’s book called Mandy? I sat sobbing as I read that one. Even though I was an adult, my future was still being shaped and my desire to illustrate books for children grew.
4. When my youngest was ready for reading we ordered Ladybug magazine. Since I was an artist and cartoonist I began entertaining the idea of illustrating for Ladybug. I sent off some art and was quickly rejected. I attended a SCBWI conference and an editor from Ladybug was there. She looked at my portfolio and hired me to illustrate the parent pages. It was a dream come true!
********************************************************************** 5. Meeting my hero, Tomie dePoala was great fun! He came all the way out West to meet ME! Ha!… Okay… so I never met him in person until this day, but he did write me a couple of times after I wrote to him. Yes, if you write an author or illustrator, they MAY just write you back!
2 Comments on Hindsight, last added: 9/7/2011
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Hi Everyone, I am starting this next month to feature (Bi-weekly)at least two wonderful artist from around the world. Each feature will include a interview, a Bio, a small sampling of their work and all the links where you may find their art. You may comment on this blog or go direct to theirs and comment. I want to use my blog as a spring board to network these artist and all of you that visit this site. The Two artist I will Feature first are:...... The great miniture sculpter..........James Van Schaik Freelance Sculptor
and the Beautiful and talented...........Mary Manning One of the leading Childrens book artist of today!
So please Join me, in welcoming these two great artist !!!!!
Announcing my first greeting card, for the New Year! In the spirit of finding as much humor as possible in the current situation, I offer the above visual interpretation, now available in a convenient greeting card form for easy distribution amongst those you might want to hand a laugh to! These are actual physical greeting cards, that you put stamps on and everything - remember those?? I am offering them for $1.20 each.
If you are interested in ordering some cards for your personal use, please contact me at email@example.com. And a wonderful, happy 2009 to everyone!
In light of the Democratic party’s control of both houses of Congress and the White House, it is probable that the federal government will continue to levy an estate tax when affluent decedents transmit their wealth to their descendants. The most likely possibility is that Congress will continue to exempt decedents’ estates valued less than $3.5 million while it taxes estates exceeding that threshold amount. In light of President Obama’s statements on the subject, it is also probable that such excess will taxed at a 45% rate when a decedent dies and leaves his wealth to his descendants.
Important details remain to be determined, e.g., whether the $3.5 million federal estate tax exemption will be adjusted annually for increases in the cost of living; whether various estate tax planning techniques such as family partnerships will be curbed or eliminated.
How ever these matters are ultimately resolved, the legislation perpetuating the federal estate tax should contain a provision subjecting to federal taxation all large intergenerational transfers of family wealth. Specifically, Congress should repeal the grandfather exemption from the federal generation skipping tax (GST) for irrevocable trusts established on or before September 25, 1985. This exemption unfairly immunizes from federal taxation transfers at death of “old” wealth while economically equivalent transfers of new wealth are taxed.
As an historic matter, the federal estate tax was often avoided through the use of so-called generation skipping trusts. When a decedent established such a trust, the trust continued for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren with no further federal estate taxation being due whenever any of these lineal descendants themselves subsequently died.
The term “generation skipping trust” was a misnomer. The trust didn’t skip any generations. The tax did. Families could continue to enjoy and grow inherited wealth in trust without paying federal estate taxes.
In 1986, Congress prospectively outlawed this planning technique by imposing the federal GST. The GST backstops the federal estate tax by assessing a tax on a death-related transfer of wealth in trust whenever an equivalent transfer outside of a trust would trigger the estate tax. Thus, with the GST in place, families can no longer use trusts to avoid taxation on intergenerational transmissions of large fortunes. Rather, federal taxation must be paid at least once in every generation.
However, Congress grandfathered from the GST transfers of wealth from trusts which were in existence and irrevocable on September 25, 1985.
This exemption creates for federal tax purposes an unfair and unconvincing distinction between new wealth (think Michael Bloomberg) and old wealth (think the Kennedys and the Rockefellers). Because of the federal GST, families inheriting new wealth now pay a federal estate tax or its equivalent at least once every generation. However, families inheriting old wealth live estate-tax free by virtue of the grandfathered status of tax-avoiding trusts established by such families’ patriarchs and matriarchs on or before September 25, 1985.
There are respectable arguments for and against federal estate taxation. However, if there is to be an estate tax, there is no convincing reason to treat differently old wealth from new wealth.
If, as the President Obama and the current Congress apparently believe, federal estate taxation represents sound social and tax policy, there is no warrant for continuing to exempt from such taxation some families simply because they had the good luck to make their fortunes before 1985. As part of its legislation continuing the federal estate tax, Congress and the President should eliminate the immunity from generation skipping taxation for intergenerational wealth transfers accomplished by irrevocable trusts established on or before September 25, 1985. For federal tax purposes, all inherited wealth should be taxed the same, whether it is “old” wealth or “new” wealth. The GST grandfather exemption should be abolished.
Elephant hand closer Peanut, undefended and toasted on the table...
Hi, i,m a freelance ilustrator from Spain, my name is Beatriz Trello and i join SGF in this moment for the first time, yeah! give thanks to Jeff and all people that post their amazing work here, i love this page.
For those who haven't seen it - my trailer for Grace Under Fire is still up. This is the book I am going back to know and I must say, I am excited to talk to Grace again. I've missed her!
O.K. so as you can tell by now, I am in the process of rebranding. I tend to rebrand every few years because it's fun. Of course, once any of us become authors, you don't want to rebrand that often but It's good to keep it fresh.
So, I thought it was time to rebrand and have something fresh as I got out to market for the first time. For good luck!
First - big round of applause for Hubby at Graphic Cat for all the great flash and design. I admit I get some great concepts, but none of them would come to life if it wasn't for him. He's like my genie - I say "I wish I could have this because of this." And POOF - he makes it happen! (Thanks hubby!)
Also - he busted his humpster to get this done for me (late nights, sacrificed work, no sleep) so we could launch everything this weekend!
I think I'll keep him ;)
Why the design??
I thought I would explain a little about why I did what I did for my branding look.
I think all of this represents me and my writing.
If you look at my web site - here is what I did. Maybe this will spark some ideas in you for your "platform".
I decided to go with peach, purples and white. I do have a some dark colors on my web site.
I like the idea of peach being the light tone of my books representing the humor,
The shades of purple represent my darker side. I do have some dark tones running underneath my stories.
The white represents the pure side of my characters
The girl represents my strong female protagonist. I shadowed her because I don't want you to see any one of my characters. It could really be any of my protagonists. You also cant tell her age. She's mysterious, yet playful. She's serious, yet she's still finds time to blow a dandelion and enjoy the small things in life. She's dark, yet feminine. She's strong and dominate in her life (hence the large size). She takes charge.
The dandelion symbolizes the "magic" in my books. There is always some type of universal magic that I try to weave into my stories.
The plants/flowers represent my eco-themes. All of my books have some type of "environmentally friendly message. I would not say they are dominate or preachy but nature is always a character in my book.
The daisy (in my name) is something I have always used. It is my signature. It the "110% of me" that I put into all of my books. No matter what I give all of me to every character and every edit. Every process along the way.
My web site tagline - which is not up yet - is "planting seeds in the imaginations of children" - I think the planting metaphor relates to the dandelion seeds floating off to wherever and whoever is (will be) touched by my words.This phrase is why I write.
So what's next?
Check out my web site teaser - my full web site will be launched this coming Monday! I know you will all mark your calendars. :)
My twitter template (and of course my blog) has changed as well.Because if you rebrand - it all needs to sync up! (Im sure you have heard me say this before.
Obviously there are still some kinks but they'll be worked out by Monday. But I wanted you to get an idea of the things that go into branding.
I'd love to hear any feedback or if you have any questions about branding in general (or even on mine), leave me a comment and I will answer them for you :)
Elvin Lim is Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University and author of The Anti-intellectual Presidency, which draws on interviews with more than 40 presidential speechwriters to investigate this relentless qualitative decline, over the course of 200 years, in our presidents’ ability to communicate with the public. He also blogs at www.elvinlim.com. In the article below, he examines our nation’s concepts of vengeance and justice in light of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s forthcoming trial in New York City. See Lim’s previous OUPblogs here.
There are four reasons which have been supplied to suggest that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) does not deserve a civilian trial in New York:
1. This is what KSM wants – a show trial, and he should not get what he desires.
2. The trial will increase the risks of a terrorist attack in New York.
3. Classified information will be released in a civilian court trial, to the benefit of potential future terrorists.
4. The injury KSM has inflicted is a war crime, and not a domestic criminal matter.
1-3 are unverifiable predictions, sub-points to the main point, 4, which is the motive force behind the considerable agitation behind Attorney General, Eric Holder’s decision. Those who oppose a civilian trial for KSM want vengeance more than they want justice. This is exactly what Michael Goodwin has argued:
“Either try the detainees in military courts on secure bases or, best of all, give them death now. Mohammed and some others already acknowledged guilt and said they were ready to die.
I say we take yes for an answer.”
Well, there we have it. Goodwin wants vengeance primarily, and justice only incidentally. Now, vengeance and justice are not unrelated. Vengeance presumes the existence of guilt, so the pursuit of vengeance can lead to justice. Indeed, in an anarchic, godless world of all against all, vengeance is the closest thing there is to justice. To speak of justice would be a categorical mistake because without the apparatus of sovereignty and law, it is a standard that stands on stilts. We say “Justice under the Law” because without law, justice is a meaningless concept.
Goodwin and others like Mayor Rudy Giuliani who want to deny KSM a civilian trial believe, though they have not fully articulated their reasons, that the international milieu exists as a state of nature in which there is no universal law and no universally accepted sovereign law-giver, and therefore, the pursuit of justice is folly and the pursuit of vengeance necessary. If there is neither legality nor illegality, then there is only strength and weakness. Vengeance will have to do. This is why Rudy Giuliani insists on the frame that we are a nation at war, that we are dealing with terrorists or “enemy combatants” and not what John Yoo called “garden-variety criminals.”
To be sure, in a government of laws such as in a liberal democracy, justice takes on higher attributes that vengeance does not (and cannot). While justice is about law; vengeance is about necessity because it privileges immediate judgment over the process that would deliver such a judgment. While vengeance gives specific solace to those who were injured, justice assures all citizens that the system in which they conduct themselves works, – i.e., while vengeance is pointed, justice is blind, and while vengeance is preponderant, justice is proportionate.
Well and good. But as we consider whether or not KSM should have been granted a civilian trial, we need to determine the context in which we make this judgment: is terrorism a domestic criminal matter or an act of war? If the context is the former, then the Constitution takes precedence and it makes sense to speak of justice and that is what KSM deserves. If it is the latter, then because there is neither universal law nor a sovereign law-giver in the international milieu, KSM will have to suffer our vengeance because justice is not an alternative.
We have not settled on an answer to this question of whether or not terrorism is a criminal or a war crime because our historical definition of war has not caught up with its modern incarnation in which deterritorialized non-state actors perpetrate acts of violence. Our discussion over what KSM deserves is a footnote to this larger debate.
Outrage over New Mexico soccer player Elizabeth Lambert’s dirty play – including her ponytail-yanking an opponent to the ground – is justified given this egregious act of poor sportsmanship.
But as the conversation and video have gone viral – from SportsCenter to NFL pre-game shows to David Letterman – the subtext has become less about comportment and more about the gendered expectations of female athletes.
Guys fighting in sports – whether ice hockey or baseball – is considered a “natural” by-product of intense play and, well, testosterone. They can’t help it. When women get heated in competition (ask any high school female athletes about trash talking and you’ll get an earful) there is a perception that they’re supposed to act…differently.
In a season of throw-backs, you can add this to the list: Just as our grandmothers insisted that girls don’t sweat, they “perspire,” there remains a narrow range of acceptable behavior for female athletes. Such rigidity is not new (in previous eras women basketball players were required to wear makeup in competition and submit to half-time beauty contests), but until Lambert we had thought the rules had evolved – at least a little.
The increasing skill level and intensity of women’s sports even at high school and college levels should not be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. Problem is, of course, many have not been paying attention. Women’s sports remain poorly covered by the mainstream male sports media. News outlets hardly feel obligated to report on even major events (it took digging to get the result of the WNBA final). And chatter about Lambert on sports talk radio last week on the Boston station I listen to was preceded by the admission that “we have never talked about women’s college soccer on this program and we will probably never talk about women’s college soccer again, but…”
The fact remains that while female athletes have developed skills, hard-charging attitudes and leave-it-all-on-the-field seriousness about their play, we still view them as grown-up girls (in ponytails) who might be doing cartwheels in the backfield if they thought they wouldn’t get caught.
Some little girl-female athlete affinity is purposeful marketing. That’s the justification for Saturday afternoon college basketball games and cheap tickets. And, certainly, why shouldn’t women’s teams, from college basketball to professional soccer build a fan base from those who can relate to them as role models? Isn’t that the NFL’s goal fulfilled when millions of boys paste Ladanian Tomlinson Fatheads on bedroom walls and wear Peyton Manning jerseys to school?
Promoting athletes as role models, of course, is always tricky. But where men get a pass for bad behavior, women draw fire.
We must get past the notion that female athletes are “nice” first and good second, and women’s games should be peddled as “family fare.” It is tiring to hear enlightened men describe themselves as “supporters” of women’s sports as if they are charitable donors. No one likes dirty play. But if Elizabeth Lambert just made people see that women’s sports are highly intense, competitive, and exciting, well, good for her.
1. They’ve turned into a robot.
“People send me Green Patches all the time,” said Jane Kim, a television research assistant in NYC. “It’s annoying. And that’s all I ever get from them. Clearly, they’re not interested in actually being friends.”
That’s because your friends are robots, Jane. Marketing robots. These are the friends you never hear from except when they want you to join a cause, sign a petition, donate money, become a fan of a product, or otherwise promote something. Farmville robots are increasingly becoming problems as well, but are not yet grounds for unfriending.
2. You don’t know who they are.
“A few days ago, Facebook suggested I reconnect with a friend whose name I didn’t recognize,” said Jessica Kay, a lawyer in Kansas City. “She’d recently gotten married, but I hadn’t even known she was engaged. I’ll probably unfriend her later. Along with some random people I met at parties in college.”
“You’re tired of seeing [that mystery name] your newsfeed,” said Jonathan Evans, a contract specialist in Seattle. “You haven’t talked to that person since the random class you took together, and you’ll probably never talk to them again.”
3. They broke your heart.
Jonathan Lethem, author of Chronic City, shared that his number one reason to unfriend someone is “because they just broke up with you on Facebook.”
So, maybe they didn’t break your heart. But if the only reason you were friends on Facebook is because you two were somehow involved, it might be time to play some Beyoncé, crack open the Haagen-Dazs and click “Remove from Friends”.
4. You don’t like them anymore.
In the early years of Facebook, users would friend everyone their dorm, everyone from high school, and every person they had ever shared a sandbox with. But now, many people are finding they no longer like a number of their friends, and spend time creating limited profiles, customizing the newsfeed, and avoiding Facebook chat.
Teresa Hynes, a student at St. John’s University, pointed out that it’s silly to be concerned one of these people might find out you’ve unfriended them and get angry. “You are never going to see them again,” she said. “You don’t want to see them ever again. You hated them in high school. Your mass communications group project is over.”
5. Annoying status updates.
“I don’t want to see ‘So-and-so wishes it was over,’” said Andrew Varhol, a marketing manager in NYC. “Or the cheers of bandwagon sports fans—when suddenly someone’s, ‘Go Yankees! Go Jeter!’ Where were you before October?”
Excessive status updates are one example of Facebook abuse. Amy Labagh of powerHouse Books admits she is irritated by frequent updates. “It’s like they want you to think they’re cool,” she said, “but they’re not.”
A professor at NYU, agreed, and said he finds a number of these frequent updates to be “too bourgie.” “It’ll say something like, ‘So-and-so is drinking whatever in the beautiful scenery of some field.’ I mean, really?!”
The style and type of each update is also important. A number of users agree that song lyrics, poetry, and literary quotations can be extremely annoying. Updates with misspellings or lacking punctuation were also noted. “I once unfriended someone because they updated their statuses in all caps,” said Erin Meehan, a marketing associate in NYC.
6. Obnoxious photo uploads.
Everyone has a different idea about what photos are appropriate to post , but a popular complaint from Facebook users in their 20s concerned wedding and baby photos. “It’s just weird,” said a bartender in Manhattan. “I know that older people are joining now, but if you’re at the stage in your life when most the photos are of your kids, I mean, what are you doing on Facebook?”
“I think makeout photos are worse,” said his coworker. “My sister always posts photos of her and her boyfriend kissing. Sometimes I want to unfriend and unfamily her.”
Across the board, a number of users found partially nude photos, or images of someone flexing their muscles as grounds for unfriending. Another reason, as cited specifically by Margitte Kristjansson, graduate student at UC San Diego, could be if “they upload inappropriate pictures of their stab wounds.”
7. Clashing religious or political views.
“I can’t handle it when someone’s updates are always about Jesus,” said Robert Wilder, a writer in New York.
In the same vein, Phil Lee, lead singer of The Muskies, said he’s extremely irritated by “religious proselytizing and over-enthusiastic praise and Bible quoting. Often in all caps.”
An anonymous Brooklynite shared that he purged his Facebook account after the last Presidential election. “It was a big deal to me,” he said. “I found it hard to be friends with people who didn’t vote for Obama.” After which his friend added, “I voted for McKinney.”
8. “I wanted a free Whopper.”
In January, Burger King launched the Whopper Sacrifice application, which promised each Facebook user a free Whopper if they unfriended 10 people. It sounded simple enough, but if you chose to unfriend someone via the application, it sent a notification to that person, announcing they had been sacrificed for the burger. Burger King disabled the application within the month when the Whopper “proved to be stronger than 233,906 friendships.”
Since Facebook has made the home page much more customizable than it used to be, you might wonder, “Why unfriend when I can hide?” More and more, Facebook users are choosing to use limited profiles and editing their newsfeed so undesirable friends disappear from view. “I find lately I’m friending more people, then blocking them,” said Gary Ferrar, a magician in New York. “That way no one gets mad, no one’s feelings get hurt.”
From time to time it is good for an illustrator to refresh things. This goes for the studio, the bookshelves, and in today's case, the website. Have a look around if you have time. I kind of like to update from time to time and plug in some of the newer images.
Elvin Lim is Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University and author of The Anti-intellectual Presidency, which draws on interviews with more than 40 presidential speechwriters to investigate this relentless qualitative decline, over the course of 200 years, in our presidents’ ability to communicate with the public. He also blogs at www.elvinlim.com. In the article below, he looks at The Twilight Saga: New Moon. See Lim’s previous OUPblogs here.
Children are, if they are lucky, taught at home and in schools. But they are also taught with books and movies, where retrograde social conventions and meanings are re-inscribed under the guise of good clean fun.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon is a romantic fantasy fusing teen lust and fantasy, but in the story of vulnerable girls swooning over powerful vampires, and rabid werewolves fighting the undead (who nevertheless retain their human form), we have a movie genre best reserved for Halloween.
Critics have been much better at picking up the retrograde gender subtext of the screenplay, at how it exploits the fine line between rape and lust, and how Bella Swan plays a terrible role model for teenage girls. Bella, the female protagonist, is portrayed as weak, vulnerable, virginal, and young, while Edward Cullen, her male vampire love interest is portrayed as supernatural, more powerful than he dares admit, 17 and yet over a hundred, young but wise. Throughout the first half of the movie, Bella is depressed because Edward has left her, and she ultimately attempts a pseudo-suicide by going cliff-diving and nearly drowns, but lucky for her, another supernatural male, Jacob Black, who plays a werewolf, swoops in for the rescue. Throughout the movie, young girls are comforted and encouraged in mixing sexual desire with sexual vulnerability, that to be loved is to be rescued. As a preview of the next sequel, we are tantalizingly promised the consummation of Bella’s and Edward’s love, that he will finally agree to change her into a vampire. He would then take everything that is hers, no less than her life and her soul, and shockingly, it is everything that Bella ever wanted.
If this is what causes teenage girls (and not a few self-confessed middle-aged feminists) to swoon at the movie, the unconscious racism in the movie takes us to a new league of egregiousness.
A google with the search terms “Twilight,” “full moon” and “racism” only turned out less than 10 germane hits, with one of them addressing the fact that some fans were agitated that the character, Laurent, was played by a black man. They charge that vampires, whose skin sparkle in the sun (according to author Stephenie Meyer) surely have to be white. These fans probably felt that fidelity to the book (or art) was sacrificed at the altar of political correctness. I’ll tell these fans to lighten up (no pun intended) though, since the author as well as the movie’s casting director is clearly on their side, because Laurent, the sole black vampire in the screenplay, was conveniently dispatched by the werewolves early on in the movie.
Laurent, in any case is just the side-show to the movie’s considerable moral insensitivity. The main battle in the movie is between the vampires and the werewolves, played by chara