Agnes Varda

I was sorry to hear that Agnes Varda had died. I first fell in love with her films when I saw The Beaches of Agnes a few years ago. I’d never seen anything quite like it before – playful and serious, funny and fully prepared to tease at and dismantle boundaries.

I thought this tribute – put together when Agnes was still alive – caught a lot of my feelings about her films:

It was good to see the same spirit at work last year in Faces Places – all the mischief was there, but was I imagining a different vulnerability too?

Agnes Varda

Boys Win!

Great post on SocImages about gendering of play beyond pink and blue:

SocImages authors and readers love pointing out pointlessly gendered products, especially children’s toys in blue and pink. Since gender is about what we do in the world, all the things we use for work and play can give weight to assumptions about gender differences that aren’t true. Critics of pointlessly gendered products emphasize that small differences in design—from color to function—can ultimately add up to big differences in how people learn to act in the world.

Gendering toys isn’t just about the color, it is also about what we teach kids to do with them. That’s why I got a huge kick out of this video: a compilation of old commercial shots of “white boys winning board games.” Of course, I haven’t done a systemic sampling of old commercials to see if girls win too, but this compilation makes an important point about how we can miss tropes that only show one outcome of social interaction over and over, especially competition.
— Read on thesocietypages.org/socimages/2019/03/26/i-win/

This is the you tube video…I win!

Boys Win!

Louis Ferlinghetti is 100!

And still as pertinent as ever.

This is his 2007 poem, Pity the Nation:

Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.”

Louis Ferlinghetti is 100!

A disaster to be a girl…

I thought this was terrific.

First Choral Ode from Norma Jeane Baker of Troy (a translation of Euripides’ Helen) by Anne Carson

[enter Norma Jeane as Mr Truman Capote]

Norma Jeane:
Enter chorus.
I am my own chorus.
I think of my chorus as Mr Truman Capote.
He was a good friend, he told me the truth.
You’ll never admit it when you’ve made a mess,
he said to me once
and that was true.
I can still hear his funny little girl voice – Truman
had a voice like a negligee, always
slipping off one bare shoulder,
just a bit.
And he hated melodrama,
though he loved to quote poetry – highbrow stuff –
here’s one he says is about me –
by Stevie Smith (it’s called ‘Persephone’):

I am that Persephone
Who played with her darlings in Sicily
Against a background of social security.

Oh what a glorious time we had.
Or had we not? They said it was sad.
I was born good, grown bad.

And isn’t that how it always starts, this myth that ends with the girl ‘grown bad’?
She’s in a meadow gathering flowers
twirling her own small sunny hours.
When up rides a man on black horses.
Up rides a man in a black hat.
Up rides a man with a black letter to deliver.
Shall I make you my queen?
She’s maybe 12 or 13.
Rape
is the story of Helen,
Persephone,
Norma Jeane,
Troy.
War is the context
and God is a boy.
Oh my darlings,
they tell you you’re born with a precious pearl.
Truth is,
it’s a disaster to be a girl.

Up came the black horses and the dark King.
And the harsh sunshine was as if it had never been.
In the halls of Hades they said I was queen.
[exit Norma Jeane as Mr Truman Capote]

Anne Carson is working on sonnets to perform in Iceland later this year.

Anne Carson: First Choral Ode from ‘Norma Jeane Baker of Troy’ (a translation of Euripides’ ‘Helen’) via the London Review of Books app

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v41/n05/contents

A disaster to be a girl…