Friday, July 30, 2010

CVBell's books | LibraryThing

CVBell's books | LibraryThing

What I've been doing in my spare time... Many months post dissertation I rediscovered the will to read, as long as that reading was deeply escapist and had absolutely nothing to do with my research. After a mildly satisfying flirtation with some highly disposable contemporary fiction (mostly Emily Giffin, Stephanie Meyers, & Elizabeth George), sometime in July I backed into a summer reading project/obsession that revolves around women-centered British novels written in the 19th century. And so I made a summer reading list. It all started with Austen. and grew. My favorite books on this list so far have been Anthony Trollope's He knew He Was Right (review) and (of course) Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Currently reading: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The July 2010 Issue | The Magazine | Vanity Fair

I love old movies (as in 1930s-1940s old) and Liz Taylor is classical, timeless, but something about this cover just reeks of irrelevance to me. As in, Vanity Fair is not exactly selling itself to the millenium is it?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Should there be a 'Sex and the City 3' movie?

Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman asks: Should there be a 'Sex and the City 3' movie? He's much more sympathetic to the movie and the franchise than most critics were:
I am not tired of these ladies. I totally enjoyed Sex and the City 2 because I still relished the chance to bask in their quickness and silliness, their valor and confusion, their passion, their presence. I want to see what happens to them next…if there is a next.
I’m with Owen. I think there’s life left in these characters and in this franchise. SATC2 wasn’t perfect, but it was, for me, a pleasure (apart from more than one too many groan-inducing puns). From the series' inception, Sex and the City was always a celebration of NY and decadence but also of friendship and women’s choices (with each character representing a different facet or path). All of that is pretty nicely woven together in this update. So for fans, the central issue is not just the exotic trip to UAE but how these women deal with their respective paths in the broader journey.


And there’s a huge focus on that continuity and character development and the transition into different stages of life (one character is having trouble with menopause (!!); another is adjusting to motherhood; and of course as Owen points out, Carrie is completely resisting that inevitable change). So even though they’re doing it surrounded by fabulous clothing in incredible settings (which are fun), it’s somehow still a little relatable. So the movie made me laugh and cry –just a little.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Owning my (domain) name

Just became the proud new owner of cvbell.com . Now I have to figure out what to do with it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Race, Media and Domestic Violence

BitchMedia is asking some hard questions about domestic violence and the role that race plays in determining media coverage/public reaction:


Which celebrity has earned more bad press for reported acts of domestic violence—Chris Brown or Charlie Sheen?
When gossip Web site TMZ.com criticized Brown Jan. 21 for appearing with designer Jean Paul Gaultier, in makeup that made him look bruised and bloodied for a “warrior-themed runway show,” visitors to the site accused TMZ of vilifying Brown while giving Sheen a pass for allegedly battering his wife on Christmas.....
Clearly, Chris Brown is guilty—and of a despicable crime, no less. But because he’s African American, will it be harder for him to redeem himself in the public eye than a white celebrity guilty of a similar crime? If he genuinely changes, that is.

These are important questions, especially regarding rehabilitation and forgiveness. I hope no one will discount the centrality of the severity of the battery in Brown's case, however. This must make a difference. Proportionality matters. Chris Brown's battery was severe and he compounded it every time he spoke out publicly and refused to take full responsibility.

That said, this is not Sheen's first time out in terms of violence and substance abuse. The public's willingness to forgive some celebrities regardless of the severity and repetitiveness of their transgressions is stunning. And does, sometimes, seem correlated to race. I just don't think it's helpful to jump to Brown's defense, and I see a lot of that in the African American community of which I am a part, but I understand the frustration.