Critical Linking: August 20th, 2013


“They’re the only place that people can go and get a free computer and free Internet, for the most part, in America,” Vermont librarian Jessamyn West explains. “And when you still have a country where 19 percent of Americans don’t have any Internet at home, that paints a serious picture.”

Brings up an interesting question: what would you pay, out of pocket, to keep your local library open and reasonably well-funded? What is your library worth to you?


“Last month we started a book pricing war with Amazon,” said Patrick Byrne, chairman and CEO in the statement. “We’re hoping to continue that battle, in a way that lessens any harm to the mom-and-pop booksellers we consider our comrades in arms.”

The enemy of my enemy often is still the enemy.


As the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan planned a celebration of its 50th anniversary next year, they offered an invitation to a Pulitzer-Prize-winning author. But despite her eagerness to attend, Alice Walker won’t be speaking at the event: the Center later rescinded the invitation, and Walker says the issue is over her past criticism of Israel.

You take a stand and you take your lumps sometimes.


The Mako Mori test is passed if the movie has: a) at least one female character; b) who gets her own narrative arc; c) that is not about supporting a man’s story. I think this is about as indicative of “feminism” (that is, minimally indicative, a pretty low bar) as the Bechdel test. It is a pretty basic test for the representation of women, as is the Bechdel test. It does not make a movie automatically feminist. 

I think we can pretty much agree that feminism and gender politics aren’t really conducive to two- or three-factor “tests” like this. These sorts of things should be the start, not the end, of discussion.


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