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Jane and Louise Wilson 303 Gallery

Oddments Room

Internationally acclaimed artists Jane and Louise Wilson are known for their film and photographic works, often exploring states of consciousness and the experience of place. This summer a series of large-scale photographs from their ongoing investigation into the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster premieres at the John Hansard Gallery. The exhibition also features a number of other works, many previously unseen in the UK.

Atomgrad (Nature Abhors a Vacuum), 2010 is a suite of eight photographic prints depicting deserted interiors from the abandoned town of Pripyat, situated within the 30km wide Exclusion Zone around the site of the disaster. Books remain on shelves and desks, bed frames remain intact and once-exquisite parquet flooring lies on the ground like rubble. A yardstick appears within each image and is a recurring motif throughout the exhibition. These objects of measurement – functional yet obsolete – act as a marker of scale and order, alluding to the tensions between association and analysis, memory and material fact.

And they’re trawling their hands along and wearing thin dresses.  I know the place is supposed to be safe within certain time limits, but … would you take the chance?

And no one is recovering those books, nor can they.

On John Grisham, Victimized Pedophiles, and the Children’s Book Industry



As you may have heard, John Grisham gave an interview with The Telegraph in which he lambasted the US judicial system for excessive incarceration—including that of “Sixty-year-old white men in prison” whose only crimes were consuming child pornography.  

“…But they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn.”

I’m bemused that someone who writes legal thrillers thinks being drunk is exculpatory when you break the law. (Or maybe he just thinks it is for white men? I can’t imagine why he’d think the system works differently for rich white guys.) Regardless, as proof of his thesis, Grisham spoke of a friend who was caught in a child porn sting and served three years in prison:

"His drinking was out of control, and he went to a website. It was labelled ‘sixteen year old wannabee hookers’ or something like that. And it said ‘16-year-old girls’. So he went there. Downloaded some stuff - it was 16 year old girls who looked 30. 

"He shouldn’t ’a done it. It was stupid, but it wasn’t 10-year-old boys.

See, it wasn’t THAT bad; Child porn isn’t so terrible when the subjects are teenage girls. We have no idea what website his friend actually looked at***, but the way Grisham chooses to demonstrate the relative frivolity of the crime is to describe the children on the site as “sixteen-year-old wannabe hookers.”

 I do not have the stomach to engage in a discussion about levels of acceptability in child pornography—even writing this post is making me physically ill. The point here is that, yet again, we have someone using teenage girls (especially, I suppose, slutty ones) as a signifier for people who aren’t worth quite as much as other people. And when you speak this way about teenage girls who are victims of sex crimes, it perpetuates the culture that creates these crimes.

 Is Mr. Grisham under the impression that these hypothetical girls actually aspire to prostitution? And this is, what, resumé-building? Or is he just trying to imply that they are super slutty, and so really are choosing this? Does he believe that child porn featuring teenage girls can in any way be a consensual act? Or does that part not matter?

 I’m guessing it’s that last one—it doesn’t matter— since his entire discussion is based around the act of looking at these images with little to no awareness of the humanity of the children in them.  What matters, to him, is the excessive persecution of the pedophile. Because it’s they who are the real victims here.

 That’s the thing—implicit in his comments is the idea that child pornography just happens, and when men of a certain age get drunk and poke around on the internet they cannot help but stumble upon it. Ah, well. No harm done. Who put that porn there? It’s not like they’re perverted or something. 

 So, what does it mean when comments that diminish the harm of consuming child pornography come from someone who writes bestselling books for children?

 I am not going to complain about celebrity authors writing children’s books—guaranteed bestsellers mean publishers can take chances on books whose success is not guaranteed. I cannot comment on the quality of Grisham’s middle grade series, and I cannot say whether or not these books are a cash grab on Grisham’s part or if he truly feels called to write books for young readers (though he has joked that he started the books because he was bitter at being displaced by JK Rowling as the bestselling author in the world.) 

Whatever his motivations, these books have sold the requisite crapload of copies; in other words, lots of people are making lots of money on John Grisham: Children’s Book Author.

So my question is: When one of the most famous authors in the western world uses his platform to say that viewing child porn isn’t so bad, really, does the industry have an obligation to respond? Does his children’s book publisher? When he argues that a guy should get a free pass for downloading pornographic pictures of underage girls, what does that mean to a business that depends so much on the dollars of underage girls? How much of a stand do we take for our customers? What is the line here?

 Sure, Grisham has apologized. Naturally, a statement was issued. Mistakes were made. Words were said. Regrets were regretted. 

But is that enough?

 I do believe that when you profit off kids, you have a moral obligation to serve and honor those kids, and I know that this industry is full of people who care a great deal about that obligation. So, what happens now?

 Authors are allowed to be jerks and still get book contracts. But when an immensely powerful man with international visibility essentially excuses the consumers of child pornography, when he acts like child pornography is a victimless crime, what does it say if the children’s book industry continues to give him a platform? When we profit off selling his books to the very kids he has essentially pooh-poohed the exploitation of?  

I don’t know the answer. But I think it’s worth asking the question. 

[EDIT: ****Aaaaand it turns out that yes, Grisham was actually using “sixteen-year-old girls” to make things seem not-quite-so-bad, because his friend was exchanging images of kids younger than twelve as well. The friend, it seems, served 18 months in prison, and Grisham—not at all trading in on his celebrity—wrote a letter advocating this guy get reinstated to the bar. Because trading in child pornography shouldn’t keep you from being able to practice law. And acting like it’s not that big a deal, apparently, shouldn’t keep you from publishing highly visible children’s books with a major publisher.]

When the hell did Grisham start writing for kids? 

I happen to feel very personally about teenage girls.  They are my fan base, my characters, my friends.  I love teenage girls.  I read Grisham’s justification and, being in the middle of three crises, I put it aside.  The thought of this flabby southern good ol’ boy snarking about my girls … about kids, about excusing a lawyer who ignored the law, who added his coins to the kiddie porn industry—I wonder if anyone has written Grisham’s publisher?














Simon Pegg and Amanda Abbington are having Cumberbatch dirty sex talk, please never stop.

Such sods

I guess I’m just an ungrateful shit-stirrer, but, um, publicly tweeting explicit, albeit joking, RPF self-insertion (pun!) slash about a celebrity friend is totes okay…however, writing on a fandom/fanfic site about Sherlock and John getting romantic and sexy is disrespectful to Benedict and Martin? Simon is a close, close friend, and obviously Amanda is Martin’s lifepartner/spouse, so is that what makes the difference? Or is it only different when a famous man initiates it and a famous woman has really witty comebacks? The mental image won’t upset Simon’s children? Or Amanda’s? Or Benedict’s, if he ever has any? I mean, it’s not weird or off-putting to Ben for a woman to publicly write about Ben’s friend and fellow actor penetrating him, as long as the woman is his pal and part of the in-gang, not some virginal teenager or unknown housewife? Or maybe….hmmm….maybe people of all types write things like this because it’s fun, or funny, or interesting, or sexy, or a momentary diversion, and nobody actually intends or wishes to disrespect the actors in the first place. Just thinking out loud, here, not trying to criticize Simon or Amanda; merely pointing out alternative readings based on previous discussions and concerns that have been made public before.

It would seem quite a few people are ticked off by this blatant double standard.

Holy shit, I’m disappointed in myself for not even realizing this. Now I am kind of angry. :(

The worst part is - I’m not even angry at them right now (maybe a bit angry at Amanda, though, with her very blatant double standards). I’m furious with interviewers, because the next time they do an interview with any  of them the inevitable question is going to be asked and then we’ll all be the bad guys again. And what the hell is this? I mean, it’s funny, and I love to see those two RP on twitter, but people calling us perverts because we’re writing fanfiction on FICTIONAL characters is a bit mad considering what they do on twitter.

Oh I’m pretty angry at them actually, well maybe not Simon so much, because in the past he’s shown to be pretty ok with shipping of any character’s he’s played. Which is awesome (thank you Simon for being an adult about this) but yeah, not cool Amanda. Actually this is the opposite of cool. 

That’s exactly it! Simon has been okay with it ever since he learned about it. Amanda? Nope. She’s been very against the idea of the whole slash fiction. Ben seems to have changed the fronts over the past few years (and I don’t blame him, to each his own, plus the interviewers and journalists can really be annoying), now he’s rather against, while he has been rather understanding at first.
So what do his friends do? They go and RP this on twitter. I mean, okay, it’s hilarious. But seriously, your double standards are annoying. At least Simon is good and as he’s always been with it. The rest of them? Not really okay.

I hear everybody here and we can have various opinions and thats ALL FINE.

I ask myself more than ask those reading this- surely they can joke about this because its their privilege? It’s about each other and they are all close enough and get each others humour.

We only see this and don’t see their private conversations and how they really feel…

A bit like I can make fun about myself with my friends and vice versa because we know each other and it’s all good fun. But if someone outside that circle of trust does it , it won’t be cool or funny.
So do we really have a say about this?
Also it’s their choice to be inappropriate or crass and even have double standards. Just because we are fans doesn’t mean we are going to like or agree with what they do in their private lives.
Twitter isn’t private but their friendship makes it a two way street to give each other shit and mess around.
It’s got nothing to do with whether we like their humour or approve of it. We are outside this. It’s not meant for us directly.

Are we not taking offence at something that is not directed at us after all?

It’s not black and white

I respect everyone’s right to think what ever they want so I’m not talking about that specifically.
Some comments should just be looked at with a grain of salt. It’s a bit of fun between Simon and Amanda.
Not Simon, Amanda and you and me and them and everyone over here and over there etc

Like I said before its more my personal observation about how as a fan we get personal with info about our admired people’s and how far to invest in various situations.

No hate here :-)

I see your point there, but. There’s always a but.
We don’t mind them fooling around with each other. It’s all fine, more than fine. And such a fun for us to witness it.
The problem lies somewhere else. Actors (and their friends/relatives/partners seem to take a great offense in us, fans, writing fanfiction and doing fanarts of fictional characters. We take them (public domain if we’re talking about Sherlock) and put them into different situations. For fun. For our pleasure. For free. We are also fooling around with them (characters). We don’t touch the real people with a 10ft stick, because we’re not allowed to do so, and we understand the boundaries (in majority, of course there are some fics on Ben/Martin, and I’m not trying to defend those, they are irrelevant to the discussion).
What angers us is not they fooling around in their tight circle and laughing about it. What angers us is the fact that when we play with fictional characters the actors seem offended by it. They seem offended because we dare to put them in a non-canonical relationships, even though for most of us those are canon. The thing that angers us is that stars take it so personally even when it’s not directed at them. None of us sends their “dirty” work to them, because it’s not for their eyes. It’s for us, and we are fooling around, in our tight circle. If they get a sneak peak, which is not that difficult, they should understand that we have a right to fool around just like they have. The fanfictions mentioned in the interviews? So far all of them were about John/Sherlock, Khan/John, etc., not Real Person Fiction, and yet…
Benedict seems to take it all a bit too personally. Again, I don’t blame him, with all the journalists throwing this into his face a man is due to get mad. BUT, it’s not our fault that interviewers are stupid and can’t do their research. If they want to portray the Sherlock Fandom, or even Benedict’s Fandom, who, after their (ours) idol not being comfortable with the nickname “Cumberbitches” changed it willingly to “CumberCollective”, who protects their personal, private life as much as we can, because they asked us to, who rise money for charities, help homeless, poor, people struggling with many issues on daily basis, if anyone wants to portray us in the media, they shouldn’t take out only PWP fanarts we create for our tight circle of Sherlockians.
Also what Amanda does is preposterous. One moment she thinks pairing John with Sherlock is just stupid, and then she proceeds to twitt withe Simon about him and Benedict, however laughable it was? This is just not right. It’s cruel for us, fans, who want to have some fun, do something for others, share some art and make the day brighter. First shit on us, then do a thing that is equally “bad”? (Or even worse in a sense?)
That’s why we’re angry, not because Simon likes to fool around, because he’s a perfect human being and god forbid he ever stops.

I’m cool with everyone have their own opinions on this matter.

I would argue with the fact that this conversation between Simon and Amanda should be considered somewhat ‘private’ because it was only between them, but here’s the deal, it wasn’t. Everyone knows what twitter is, Amanda and Simon are both very aware of how many followers they each have and how quickly their tweets can spread. Posting anything on a social media website is made public instantly, and is directed towards those millions of followers. If this was meant as a bit of fun between friends, I’m sure they have each others text numbers, simply message each other. They can still joke and make as many off-colored comments as they want without it being circulated to millions of fans.

The question is, is Ben going to be just as upset with Simon and Amanda for insinuating he’s involved in a homosexual relationship as he seems to be that we are taking a character he plays and doing the same? 

Urgh, this whole situation makes me head hurt. 

I’m with Science on this — I reblogged this exchange yesterday, thought it was cute, but hadn’t even looked at this for what it is, and now I’m cranky.

Tishy, I think you’re right: the key is Benedict’s reaction. The sad part is, we won’t be privy to what that reaction is. 

But yeah, if he endorses this, he had no right condemning us. 

Here’s hoping he makes the connection quicker than I did…

Agreed. This is why I’ve always liked it better when the actors and writers and whatnot were unaware of the fandom in general. We kind of need that separation for everything to run smoothly (or as smoothly as fandom ever can run).

Personally, I think what bothers them is when people get their lines blurred between characters and the actors that play them. I get a bit weirded out myself when people start ‘shipping’ real people. Actors are people, but characters are an amalgam of writing, direction, and an actor’s interpretation of those things and their own impressions worked in tandem. An actor is a blood and bone human, while a character is a fictional being who cannot exist outside the confines of media. Actors are human beings, just like the rest of us, and are therefore entitled to their private lives remaining just that - PRIVATE. Private means ‘confined to or intended only for persons immediately concerned’. This means, in essence, NOT PUBLIC. An actor’s CAREER is what is for public consumption, not their family or their personal struggles. If you hate when paparazzi bother celebrities and their families, then you have no right to do something that could be considered just as creepy or disrespectful.
Ship characters? Fine. Shipping people? Could be considered borderline creepy.
This was an exchange between two friends - people who understand know each other personally. Yes, it was on a public site, but that doesn’t give you the right to comment on what’s happening ‘behind closed doors’ (so to speak) between people with whom you have no interpersonal relationship.



As I’m walking through Target with my little sister, the kid somehow manages to convince me to take a trip down the doll aisle. I know the type - brands that preach diversity through displays of nine different variations of white and maybe a black girl if you’re lucky enough. What I instead found as soon as I turned into the aisle were these two boxes.

The girl on the left is Shola, an Afghani girl from Kabul with war-torn eyes. Her biography on the inside flap tells us that “her country has been at war since before she was born”, and all she has left of her family is her older sister. They’re part of a circus, the one source of light in their lives, and they read the Qur’an. She wears a hijab.

The girl on the right is Nahji, a ten-year-old Indian girl from Assam, where “young girls are forced to work and get married at a very early age”. Nahji is smart, admirable, extremely studious. She teaches her fellow girls to believe in themselves. In the left side of her nose, as tradition mandates, she has a piercing. On her right hand is a henna tattoo.

As a Pakistani girl growing up in post-9/11 America, this is so important to me. The closest thing we had to these back in my day were “customizable” American Girl dolls, who were very strictly white or black. My eyes are green, my hair was black, and my skin is brown, and I couldn’t find my reflection in any of those girls. Yet I settled, just like I settled for the terrorist jokes boys would throw at me, like I settled for the butchered pronunciations of names of mine and my friends’ countries. I settled for a white doll, who at least had my eyes if nothing else, and I named her Rabeea and loved her. But I still couldn’t completely connect to her.

My little sister, who had been the one to push me down the aisle in the first place, stopped to stare with me at the girls. And then the words, “Maybe they can be my American Girls,” slipped out of her mouth. This young girl, barely represented in today’s society, finally found a doll that looks like her, that wears the weird headscarf that her grandma does and still manages to look beautiful.

I turned the dolls’ boxes around and snapped a picture of the back of Nahji’s. There are more that I didn’t see in the store; a Belarusian, an Ethiopian, a Brazilian, a Laotian, a Native American, a Mexican. And more.

These are Hearts 4 Hearts dolls, and while they haven’t yet reached all parts of the world (I think they have yet to come out with an East Asian girl), they need all the support they can get so we can have a beautiful doll for every beautiful young girl, so we can give them what our generation never had.

Please don’t let this die. If you know a young girl, get her one. I know I’m buying Shola and Nahji for my little sister’s next birthday, because she needs a doll with beautiful brown skin like hers, a doll who wears a hijab like our older sister, a doll who wears real henna, not the blue shit white girls get at the beach.

The Hearts 4 Hearts girls are so important. Don’t overlook them. Don’t underestimate them. These can be the future if we let them.

You can read more about the dolls here:

This is the most amazing thing!  Little sisters heck!  Have you got nieces, granddaughters, cousins, daughters?  Not only girls of color can benefit by having dolls like these, but white girls who are growing up in a world of color!



PSA: because I keep seeing that shitty manipulated photo of Emma Watson on my dash. THAT PHOTO WAS PHOTOSHOPPED.  The original photo (with another from the same shoot, is from 2011 with Mariano Vivanco) are pictured above. Please don’t perpetuate this error. 

Deliberately spreading an altered image of Emma Watson which purports to show her breasts as a statement against threats of nude photo leaks is the height of hypocrisy and whoever did it should be ashamed. (x)

Shame on them!  Respect an intelligent woman who was dissed by a clown.  Don’t keep sending the lying photoset around!

Not all men!

Yes but enough men that every girl is terrified of smiling to that guy on the bus or talking with the boy in the coffee shop. Every girl has been walking late at night at one point and been afraid of who might be following her. Every girl has referred to someone as a “creep” and every girl has refused a drink from someone she doesn’t know.

Not all men.

But enough men that all women are now afraid of most men.
It’s gotten so bad that we have to be afraid of even telling you we are afraid. We can’t ask that you please stop talking to us. Because if we do we run the risk of being labeled a “stuck up bitch” and blamed for murders and rapes in which we are the victims.

So we speak to you with body language that we hope you’ll understand. We cross our legs and look out the window and wear giant headphones that are giant signs that subtly read “DON’T TALK TO ME!” But you insist on ignoring those signs because you have it in your head that our body language doesn’t mean anything. That our bodies aren’t our bodies.

Not all men.

You can start fucking saying that when all women can stop being afraid. But that’s not gonna happen if every man a women opens up to about this issue dismisses her by saying “Not all men.”

an unofficial letter to the skeezball at work all men.

(via thehansoloist)

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