becoming one of the most surreal and exciting fortnights of my life. There is so much I can’t wait to tell you guys about! The second I can elaborate YOU will be the first to know, so stay tuned! Finally, thanks again for sticking with me, guys. It means the world. ♥ K (Ahhhh! :D )
Tomorrow a law will be voted on in St. Petersburg, Russia that will make it illegal to so much as mention gays, lesbians, bisexuals or trans* people in public. Russia is already an incredibly dangerous place for the LGBT community with activists from an LGBT pride march being brutally attacked and detained by Moscow police last summer, just for participating in the pride march. If this law is passed any form of demonstration for LGBT rights will be officially illegal. Above is a petition to support the LGBT community in Russia.
Lana Del Rey’s album is out today! Like the majority of us, the first I heard of Lana was Video Games and I was immediately attracted to her eerie sound and powerful voice. The follow up, Born To Die, is my absolute favourite. Itself and its video are gloriously eerie, not to mention haunting, and I love an artist who’s not afraid to go against the grain.
I love the first line to this especially, there’s something in the delivery that I’ve fallen for. That and the majestic introduction - she must have felt amazing when she heard that on the radio for the first time!
There’s been a lot of hype surrounding Lana, but equally a lot of harsh criticism (like that after her performance on SNL; unfair and unnecessary words from people who frankly should know better), and I guess most of the latter is borne out of what critics are suddenly expecting her to be. If you instead take Lana for what she is and let go of all the preconceived ideas and opinions that shroud her, you’re more likely to be able to appreciate her for the unique and quality artist she is.
The cover of the album is also gorgeous – I love the pose, the colours, the font, the style…Everything. I think you can probably class me as a fan by now!
Alongside her style Lana’s make up is beautiful and unusual; this, by pixi2woo, is one of my favourite tutorials. PS: It’s beyond a joke how bad I am at recreating this right now. I’m hoping practice will make perfect.
A tribute to L.C. Evans: Pick one of 40 free books for yourself - Today only at The Indieview!
You may remember that in December last year I did an interview with The Indieview and its founder Simon Royle. A year ago tomorrow is the anniversary of another of Simon’s interviews - one with fellow indie author L.C. Evans. Very sadly, L.C. passed away earlier this month after a battle with cancer. Simon wanted to mark the anniversary of her interview with an event that would help promote L.C.’s books, and has got the community involved.
Throughout tomorrow, the 24th of January, when you buy a copy of any of L.C.’s books - available on Amazon and through The Indieview - you can choose a free digital copy of books written by more than 40 authors featured here, on The Indieview. Past interviewees have come together to put their books on offer - this is a special buy one get one free situation!
Once you’ve chosen which free book you’d like, simply click the email link by its side and send a copy (printscreen etc.) of your receipt from L.C.’s book. We’ll sort out the rest!
Feminism: In defence of Lara Pulver, and why her episode of Sherlock wasn't the worst thing in the world ever created..
I read an article the other day that moved me to write. It was advertised as a challenge of ‘backwards’ feminism, which pleased me, until I realised that it was of the very vein of ‘feminism’ that I so disagree with.
The article disapproved of Lara Pulver – the actress who played criminal and dominatrix Irene Adler in the new year’s first episode of Sherlock – for saying she found playing the role ‘empowering’. This, according to the article, was a prime example of why we need feminism and why women are being seen as nothing more than sex objects, why world peace is still not existent, and the 2012 apocalypse is imminent. Just kidding about the last part. But I can’t help but feel this judgement is unfair. Why? Well.
Let’s begin with the fact that Lara chose to play the part, and agreed to shoot her naked scenes. She wasn’t made to. She, as an independent and professional woman, made a choice to fully commit to the job that she’s proud of and perform her character to the very best of her ability. Her character is an overtly sexual dominatrix. Is it surprising that Irene Adler would attempt to exert her power in a physical manner? It was mentioned by both Irene and Sherlock himself intheepisode that the entire scene was a reflection of Irene’s character. Even without that, it would have gone without saying.
Secondly, a nude body does not have to be seen as a purely sexual object. Let’s just throw this out there. When Sherlock was near-naked in the palace, it wasn’t presented as such. I feel strongly that this difference has little to do with gender and everything to do with character. Once again, Irene Adler is an overpowering sex worker. She was never put up on a pedestal by anyone as representation of the entire contemporary female gender.
Thirdly, say the writers had compromised Irene’s character for the sake of conforming to this view, and clothed her just to avoid the complaints. Surely, this is just as harmful as placing her naked for the sake of sex would have been? By bending backwards to avoid the idea that women have sexual identity, you are still acting becauseof the *stereotypical* male point of view. This is an entirely reactive approach, without independence of the issue being employed. It’s equally damaging. Which brings us back to the point that Lara Pulver made the choice to shoot the scene naked, for her and her art, and if she found that empowering then good for her – she’s her own woman.
On a not unrelated note, let’s take a look at the state of the world of body image. It’s not typical to see a woman over her mid twenties baring any flesh on TV, or so much as appearing in adverts, so for girls to see a 31 year old lead strutting confidently in her own bare skin is, in my view, a nice change. Telling Lara to cover up and labelling her assurance detrimental hardly encourages body-confidence. The article’s call for women to be strong at work and not in underwear presents an archetype that is not rounded. Women should not have to sacrifice their sexuality to gain recognition any more than they should have to exploit it. Of course I completely agree with the piece’s view that women shouldn’t have use their sexuality to be taken seriously, but the episode was not communicating that they should. (Just to point out, the so very disapproved of ‘male writers’ fashioned this story so that the attempt didn’t even work for Irene. Apply some thought and this works as a ‘good example’ in itself – just not a boringly blatant one.) The article claimed that women like Irene were not positive role models because of this overt use of sexuality. But Irene Adler was clearlynot written to be a role model, and if every female, or male, character was, stories would be very boring places. Perspective needs to be employed, as well as a little more faith in the viewers of the show.
So, it’s of course everyone’s own decision to make a judgement, or not, on the presentation of Irene Adler. Personally, I object to the hasty criticism. As an author, I side with the writers of Sherlock against the claim that women in the show should be good examples. Should Moriarty be a role model? Should Sherlock be a role model? Or does that not matter because men, supposedly, do not need positive ones? I feel offended on behalf of the women it is presumed will be unquestioning enough to blindly follow every female lead they see on screen or read on paper, and the men who it is presumed will fail to see Irene as anything more than a sex object. Look properly at the characters; we need to appreciate that what we’re being presented with is a story that we can take or leave. Where would any story be if every character was a squeaky clean example of how to live? Writers who present realistic, flawed characters aren’t patronising their readers, which I feel is infinitely more important. The viewers are capable of realising that Irene and characters like her don’t gain free and happy lives through their actions, and probably aren’t the best of idols – let alone examples of how many women act.
Irene Adler was never presented as a role model, and to call her and her actress out for presenting – once more – asingleexampleof a criminal dominatrix in a credible manner gains nothing. Lara said that she thinks Sherlock is a hit because the writers don’t “underestimate people’s intelligence”. I could not agree more.
So over the weekend my dad and I were flicking through the TV channels, and Top of The Pops from 1977 was on BBC Four. I wasn’t extremely enthusiastic about this to begin with, but it turned out to be time very well spent. Some outfits, dance moves and set designs genuinely made me cry with laughter, but there was also some good music featured, along with some total icons.
1. Let’s just take one moment to look at this LEGEND. Watch it. Now. Seriously. Listen to his improv. At least, it sounds like it’s improv. You will not regret it. I am in awe of him. He is the absolute definition of cool.
And check the presenter’s super-fly jacket!
2. Elsewhere, there was some music I really liked that I’d forgotten, like this:
3. As well as some that reminded me of this (brilliant):
4. Another undeniable legend? I DARE YOU to cross Elvis Costello. He’s watching you.
So, I just felt the need to share the joy. Do you know any other music ICONS from the era?
5. OK, I’ll just leave you with Rod Stewart dancing with his guitar behind his back. They are mean moves. Honestly, it’s a great song. ;)