If Game Of Thrones Was Made By Disney

While the huge fandom of Game of Thrones are waiting for the 8th and final season of the cult HBO series, the artists from Combo Estudio offer an alternative setting for the show.

Fernando Mendonça and Anderson Mahanski have portrayed how Games of Thrones would look like if it was animated by Disney studios, and the result is as awesome as it sounds. The duo have captured the aura of Disney movies so well, you’ll probably wish they would reboot GoT ASAP.

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Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/game-of-thrones-disney-style-illustration-combo-estudio/

These Are The Most Disturbing Psychological Experiments In Human History

We can’t help but be interested in extremes. A few weeks back, we attempted to gather together some of the more visually gruesome ways to perish by nature’s hand – and now, we thought we’d treat you, so to speak, with some of the most disturbing psychological experiments ever conducted.

“Most disturbing” is a tricky criterion to meet, but we’ll certainly give it our best shot. So, let’s start with a classic, shall we?

1 – The Milgram Experiment

Arguably the most infamous psychological experiment of all time, the Milgram experiment has continued to shock and bemuse researchers and the general public ever since it was originally carried out, with variants of it appearing in recent research and even high-profile TV shows.

First conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram back in 1963, it was motivated by the trial of Adolf Eichmann, a German Nazi lieutenant colonel and one of the architects of the Holocaust. While on trial, he famously effused that “he was just following orders”, and Milgram wanted to explore this further. Do people do terrible things just because an authority figure ordered them too?

To find out, a deception was devised. In one room, 40 (male-only) participants sat; they were told that in the other, a man being trained to learn paired words awaited their questions.

If they asked a question to test him on said knowledge and he failed to answer correctly, they administered an electric shock. The shocks were at higher voltages for each subsequent question, and cries of pain could be heard from the man in the room until he was apparently made unconscious.

Of course, there weren’t any electric shocks being administered, and the man was an actor. The point was to see how far people would keep going simply because an authority figure was telling them it was fine to do so.

Clearly, such an experiment provided the scientific community with some decidedly ethical pitfalls to explore. It was game-changing in what it aimed to discover, but the potential to inflict trauma on the participants is easy to see – and contemporary replications of the experiment have attempted to circumvent those to varying degrees.

The original paper, published rather appropriately in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, makes for some fascinating, unnerving reading.

“Profuse sweating, trembling, and stuttering were typical expressions of [the subjects’] emotional disturbance,” it notes. “One unexpected sign of tension – yet to be explained – was the regular occurrence of nervous laughter, which in some subjects developed into uncontrollable seizures.”

Forget about the disturbing nature of the study’s methods, though: what it found out was decidedly chilling. In the original experiment, it was thought that 0.1 percent of participants would go through the entire set of electric shocks. In fact, around two-thirds of subjects continued to shock away, even at the point of apparent unconsciousness on the actor’s part – and still, even in today’s experiments, the majority obey their orders.

2 – The Little Albert Experiment

Don’t be fooled by the adorable-sounding name – this one’s pure nightmare fuel. Taking place at Johns Hopkins University in 1920, John Watson and graduate student Rosalie Rayner let a 9-month-old baby, named “Albert B”, meet a white rat and a collection of other furry objects. He enjoyed it at first, but after a while, Watson snuck up behind the baby and made frighteningly loud noises whenever the rat and toys were available.

Soon, the jump scaring stopped, but, learning to link the fear with the floofies, the baby adversely reacted to their presence. This is an example of emotional conditioning, a variant on classic conditioning, the type people most famously associate with Pavlov and his dog, who was similarly taught to associate food with a ringing bell.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), only in 2010 was the baby’s identity finally revealed: He was named Douglas Merritte, the son of a wet nurse who was paid $1 for her baby’s participation, which is $13.04 in today’s money.

3 – The Stanford Prison Experiment

Hoo, boy. This one, if you haven’t heard of it already, is legendary for just how chaotic, unpredictable, and disturbing it turned out to be. In the end, the outcome became so infamous that a plaque has been erected at the site of the experiment.

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo, given funding by the US Office of Naval Research, was tasked with finding out what caused friction between guards and prisoners in both the US Navy and the Marine Corps. Setting a makeshift prison up in the basement of Stanford University, a group of physically strong and psychology stable students were recruited, fake arrested at their homes, and split into a group of “prisoners” and “guards”.

The researchers sat back, asked them to behave like it was a bona fide jail, and watched what happened. What transpired next has been the focus of movies, documentaries, articles, and heated debate all over the world, but here are the highlights.

Despite having some initial difficulty getting into the role of the guards, on day two, things escalated quickly. One “guard” took on the role of a cruel warden partly out of boredom. Prisoners, referred to only by their numbers, rebelled and formed a blockade within their cells.

As noted by a feature on the BBC, that triggered a change in the guards, who reacted by removing the prisoners of their humanity. They forcefully stripped the prisoners, made them do Sisyphean physical exercises, refused to let them sleep, put them in solitary confinement, prevented them from using the toilet, and more.

The original study noted that “soon, the prison began to smell of urine and feces.”

The prisoners were also split up, with some placed in a privileged, “good” cell, and others placed in a “bad” cell; occasionally, some were switched around. This created suspicion among the more rebellious prisoners that the guards had turned other prisoners into informants, which broke down any unity and trust they had while engendering solidarity among the guards.

Within just a few days, sadistic authoritarianism took hold and prisoners began to drop out. The first left after 36 hours, and “was suffering from acute emotional disturbance, disorganized thinking, uncontrollable crying, screaming and rage.”

Several others soon displayed symptoms of extreme psychological distress, and the experiment was terminated after just six days – over a week earlier than planned – after Zimbardo’s future wife, Christina Maslach, expressed concern.

“Our ex-con consultants later informed us that a very similar kind of tactic is used by real guards in real prisons to break prisoner alliance,” the study explains. “In fact, in a real prison the greatest threat to any prisoner’s life comes from his fellow prisoners.”

Once again, the conclusions of the study were equally as distressing: Otherwise good people can do terrible things when given unlimited power.

4 – The Monster Study

With a nickname like that, you know you’re in trouble. Back in the late 1930s, University of Iowa speech pathologist and childhood stutterer Wendell Johnson became convinced that, based on his own life experiences, his affliction commenced simply because he was told he was stuttering by a teacher – and thus, a self-fulfilling prophecy began.

Each case is different, but Wendell was wrong. Such feedback can reinforce stuttering once it’s begun, but that’s not how it starts. According to the NHS, its roots are linked to developmental and potentially neurological problems.

In any case, back then, Wendell wanted to prove his hypothesis. Recruiting graduate student Mary Taylor to lead the charge, they both openly tested the idea if telling a nonstuttering child that they were stuttering could induce the condition.

To do this, they used 22 young orphans, all of whom stuttered, and ideal for testing their theory thanks to a lack of an authority figure in their lives. Ten were known stutterers and were split into two groups of five, half of which were always told their speech is fine and half of which were always told their speech was as bad as people said. The nonstutterers were also divided similarly.

Immediately, the nonstutterers who were told they were stuttering became very reluctant to speak. Some complained of not being able to get the sound out, and their self-esteem plummeted. Detrimental psychological effects linger in some of them to this day, and several became recluses. Although stutter-like behavior was observed, none actually developed the condition.

The study itself was never published, but remnants of it can still be found in the somewhat regretful Taylor thesis, originally published in 1939.

As it turns out, you can’t make a stutterer, but you can partake in an admittedly scientifically valuable but extremely grim experiment that culminated in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the university and the state. In the end, the unwitting subjects were paid $925,000 for their troubles.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/brain/some-most-disturbing-psychological-experiments-human-history/

17 Rare Pics Reveal A Fake Rooftop Town Built To Hide Boeings Factory From Japanese Air Strikes

During World War 2, one B-17 Bomber cost a little over $200,000 to produce. That’s about $3,4 million in today’s economy. And since the US Army requested thousands of these planes, they wanted to take every measure when securing the Boeing factory that produced them. And by “every measure” I mean hiring Hollywood set designers to build a fake neighborhood atop it and getting actors to inhabit the area.

Protecting it from potential air strikes, the “neighborhood” was constructed in 1944 and removed a year after the war. John Stewart Detlie was the Hollywood set designer who helped to hide the Boeing Plant No. 2. Using the same techniques as in the movies, fake streets, sidewalks, trees, fences, cars, and houses were set in place to fool the would-be attackers.

Underneath it, 30,000 men and women were constructing about 300 bombers per month to support the fight against Nazis. Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses dropped over 640,000 tons of bombs over Germany alone during the conflict, and of the 12,731 aircraft built, about fifty remain in complete form.

In the 1960s, the first Boeing 737s were assembled in Plant 2, but finished in the neighboring Thompson Site where the production of the 737 was eventually moved to. In the 1980s, the site was used as a machine shop but that discontinued as work shifted to more modern facilities. Ultimately, the structure fell into decay and in 2010, Boeing began the demolition of the plant.

(h/t vintageeveryday)

At first glance, this looks like an ordinary day in a small village with people enjoying the sun outside

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

But underneath this ‘peaceful town’ was a big military secret: a Boeing factory

During WWII, the U.S. Army designed a whole neighborhood to throw off possible air attacks

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

On the roof of Boeing Plant 2, camouflage trees and structures were shorter than a person

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

Trees were made of chicken wire and feathers

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

A street sign plays off the fake neighborhood at the corner of “Synthetic Street” and “Burlap Boulevard”

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

Suzette Lamoureaux and Vern Manion examine one of the miniature bungalows in the “Boeing Wonderland”

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

Structures that look like cars from overhead are parked along a fake street

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

An aerial view of the camouflage on top of Boeing Plant 2 shows that the “streets” were aligned with real residential neighborhoods nearby

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

Joyce Howe, and behind her Susan Heidreich, walking over the camouflaged Boeing Plant 2

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

Boeing plant aerial photo taken from around 5000 feet. This was taken in either 1944 or 1945

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

Thousands of Boeing workers gather in front of Boeing Plant 2 for ceremonies marking the changeover from B-17 to B-29 production on April 10, 1945

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

The first B-52A is rolled out at Boeing’s Seattle plant on March 18, 1954. In order to clear the hangar doorway, the plane’s 48-foot-high tail had to be folded down

Image credits: U.S. Air Force

Boeing Plant 2. 5000th celebrations

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

Boeing Plant 2. B-17G Flying Fortress cockpits under construction

Image credits: Bonneville Power Administration

B-17F production line, Boeing Plant 2, July 14 1942

Image credits: Seattle Times archive

“Rosie the Riveter” at work at Boeing Plant 2

Image credits: Bonneville Power Administration

Image credits: Bonneville Power Administration

Here’s how it looks like now

Image credits: Google Maps

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/boeing-fake-rooftop-town-world-war-seattle/

Michael Caine: Boy, did we have fun

As his documentary about the 1960s opens, the veteran actor talks working-class culture, Woody Allen and why he never liked drugs

Now 84, Michael Caine has appeared in 127 films, including Zulu, Alfie and The Italian Job, and been Oscar-nominated six times, winning twice. Caine is the narrator, co-producer and star of new documentary film My Generation, about his journey through 1960s London.

What inspired you to make MyGeneration?
Simon Fuller [Spice Girls/Pop Idol svengali] and I are friends, and over dinner, conversation kept coming round to the 60s. He was too young, so was always asking about it. One evening he said, Lets make a documentary. You can tell the stories and Ill find the music. Its taken a few years, but thats what we did. I have a very good memory, which is fortunate at my age, so theres a lot of material left over. Were turning that into a six-part TV series.

The film is studded with star names, but they dont appear in traditional talking heads style. Why?
I interviewed loads of people McCartney, Twiggy, Roger Daltrey, Joan Collins but we ended up taking the footage out of the film. It screwed it up, because youre no longer immersed in the 60s, youre too busy going Oh look, hes gone bald, or Aint she got fat? So you only hear their voices; well use the footage in the TV series instead.

I thought the saying went If you remember the 60s, you werent reallythere?
Thats more the late 60s/early 70s. In the 60s, we were drinkers. What ruined the 60s, towards the end of the decade, were drugs. If people were taking cocaine, theyd start talking bollocks and not stop for hours. If they were on other drugs, theyd just sit around, going Wow, man. So it was either people talking too fast to understand, or people not saying anything at all. It brought to an end the 60s as we knew it which was a load of drunks getting up to all sorts and dancing like mad.

Is it true you smoked marijuana just the once?
Yes, and I laughed for five hours. I nearly got a hernia. I must have been very tense beforehand! When I left the party at 1am in Grosvenor Square, I was standing alone on a corner, roaring with laughter, and no cab would stop for me. I had to walk to my flat in Notting Hill, and when I got back, I vowed Id never take bloody drugs again. And I never did. Im not anti-drugs: Im sympathetic to people who take them, because theyve got themselves in a situation that I really do not envy. Most drugs are terrible at least marijuanas good for medicinal purposes.

Watch a trailer for My Generation.

You permanently had a fag in your mouth during the 60s, though
I smoked a lot, but Tony Curtis saved my life. I was at a party, chain-smoking by the fireplace, when a hand came round from behind me, took the cigarettes out of my pocket and threw them in the fire. I turned round and it was Tony Curtis. Wed never met, but he said: Ive been watching you, Michael. Youre going to die if you keep doing that, you idiot. So I quit.

I later took up cigars, but gave them up because of Hurricane Higgins, the snooker player. I knew Alex quite well, and one night I was smoking a cigar while watching TV. Alex came on the screen with a voice-box and I could see he was dying. I stubbed the cigar out in the ashtray and never smoked again.

In the documentary you sometimes seem like the more senior, sensible one
Well, I was a serious actor. Id spent nine years on stage and worked my way up to leading roles in movies. Id be up at 6.30am for a days worth of dialogue, so I couldnt stay up all night, dancing and getting laid. Dont worry, though between films Id go a bit mad.

My Generation has a 50/50 gender split of contributors. Did you insist onthat?
Absolutely. Im a feminist to the core. An interviewer once asked my wife, What first attracted you to Michael? and she said, The way he treated his mother. I respected women tremendously, right from the start. I just didnt know I was a feminist until they invented it.

Social change is a big theme in MyGeneration
Thats the serious point of the film, really. Society was transformed by the 60s. I was born during the Depression, then came the Blitz. I was evacuated and spent six years waiting for a telegram telling me my dad was dead. A tough start. Six years after the war, I was in the army myself first in the occupation force in Berlin, then the Korean war, fighting the Chinese. When I got home, London was all smog and rationing. The last straw was [Soviet leader] Khrushchevs speech saying they now had the atom bomb and could send it here in a rocket to annihilate us within four minutes. So the attitude became: Were miserable as sin, weve got four minutes to live, lets have some fun. And boy, did we have fun.

Was there a working-class takeover of culture?
Yeah, slowly but surely. Small things happened: Radio Caroline launched, before the BBC finally gave in and started playing pop music. Coffee bars started putting on live groups, like the Beatles. Discotheques arrived from Paris. The first night I went to the Ad Lib club run by my friend Johnny Gold, who later opened Tramp and called me Disco Mike every single Beatle and every single Rolling Stone was in there dancing. Pop culture went bang, exploded, and just kept going. Working-class kids everywhere

David Bailey and Terry ONeill became almost as famous as the people they were photographing. I shared a flat with Vidal Sassoon and got free haircuts. Terence Stamp was another flatmate. It seemed like everyone I knew became famous.

You were good friends with Roger Moore. Did his death last year hit you hard?
Yeah, we were close. But at my age, you get used to your friendsdying.

Youve been buddies with two Bonds, Moore and Connery. Who would you like to play 007 next?
Tom Hardy. And make him do a posh accent.

You won an Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters. What do you make of the accusations against Woody Allen?
I am so stunned. Im a patron of the NSPCC and have very strong views about paedophilia. I cant come to terms with it, because I loved Woody and had a wonderful time with him. I even introduced him to Mia [Farrow]. I dont regret working with him, which I did in complete innocence; but I wouldnt work with him again, no.

Last year, you were in yet another Oscar-nominated film, Dunkirk
Only a cheeky little cameo. Christopher [Nolan, director] and I have done six very successful films together. Im his good-luck charm. Or is he mine? Anyway, I had to be in Dunkirk, but there was no proper part for me because of my age. Instead I did the voice of the Spitfire squadron leader over the radio. I looked at the gross yesterday: half a billion. The lucky charm worked again.

You seem almost as busy as ever
Whats come into fashion, fortunately for me, is films for older people. Ever since The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel took $150m, theyve realised theres a generation who still go to the cinema. So last year I made Going in Style with Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin, all of us in our 80s. Ive just done Night in Hatton Garden, about the oldest robbers in history. Its like the audience have grown up with me.

Tess Daly says youd be her dream celebrity contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. Fancy it?
Oh, really? Im afraid Im beyond that. She should be mighty relieved. I watch Strictly every weekend with my three grandchildren. We all shout out the scores together.

Was the 60s the best decade of yourlife?
At the time it was. Since then, my life has improved from decade to decade. My joy nowadays is not movies, money or women Ive been happily married for 45 years to the most wonderful woman I ever met its my grandchildren. Im devoted to them.

Youre 85 next week. How are you celebrating?
My wifes organising something but wont tell me what. My 80th was in Las Vegas with Quincy Jones. We call ourselves the celestial twins. He composed the music for The Italian Job and when he came on set, we worked out we were born at exactly the same hour. Were not identical twins, clearly, were celestial ones. One thing I love about Quince is hes always late for everything. He invited me around for lunch recently and he was an hour late. In his ownhouse.

Will you ever retire?
No. The movie business retires you. Ive just turned down a film, actually; but if I get a script I really want to do, I will. Im busy enough. Ive got the TV series and a book Im writing. I did a guide to acting, which went very well, so now Im writing one on stardom. Its full of funny stories and I name-drop like fury, obviously. You might have noticed.

My Generation is released 16 March. On 14 March a preview screening in cinemas will be followed by a live Q&A with Michael Caine, broadcast from BFISouthbank

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/mar/10/michael-caine-what-ruined-60s-drugs-my-generation-interview

I Love How All The Space Movies Ever Have Like 8..

Read more: http://www.ifunny.com//pictures/i-love-how-all-space-movies-ever-have-8/

The male glance: how we fail to take womens stories seriously

The long read: Male art is epic, universal, and profoundly meaningful. Womens creations are domestic, emotional and trivial. How did we learn to misread stories so badly?

In spring 2013, HBO conducted a sly experiment on the elite TV-viewing public. It aired two new shows both buddy dramas back to back. Each was conceived as a short, self-contained season. Each had a single talented and idiosyncratic director for the entire season, and each dispensed with the convention of having a large team of writers in favour of a unified authorial vision. Both shows appeared to belong to one genre, but gestured at several others. Both used excellent actors to anchor a meandering, semi-disciplined style. And both ended by reasserting the romantic bonds of friendship. Those shows were True Detective, and Doll and Em.

Their critical reception was drastically different. One was analysed and investigated to the point of parody. The other show a much tighter work of art was breezily and inaccurately labeled a satire and forgotten. To be explicit, the show about boys got way too much credit, and the show about girls got way too little.

This is how we approach male versus female work. Lets call it the male glance a narrative corollary to the male gaze. We all do it, and it is ruining our ability to see good art. The effects are poisonous and cumulative, and have resulted in a huge talent drain. We have been hemorrhaging great work for decades, partly because we are so bad at seeing it.


A nefarious impulse strikes when we look at faces. It is the result of advertising combined with centuries of male-dominated image-making. Perhaps you have noticed: when you look at a face that you have been told is female, you critique it at a much higher resolution than you would if it were labelled male. Womens skin should be smoother. We detect wrinkles, discolourations and pores, and subtract them from a womans beauty in ways we dont if that same face is presented to us as masculine. There is a long history of grading aesthetics on a gendered curve. We may hope that bad habits such as these are ancient history, but in practice, our snap judgments frequently trump our theoretical progress.

A famous Susan Sontag meditation on this aesthetic paradigm bears repeating: The great advantage men have is that our culture allows two standards of male beauty: the boy and the man. The beauty of a boy resembles the beauty of a girl. In both sexes, it is a fragile kind of beauty and flourishes naturally only in the early part of the life cycle. Happily, men are able to accept themselves under another standard of good looks heavier, rougher, more thickly built There is no equivalent of this second standard for women. The single standard of beauty for women dictates that they must go on having clear skin. Every wrinkle, every line, every grey hair, is a defeat.

If our ability to see detail in a womans face is magnified by our visual habits, our ability to see complexity in a womans story is diminished by our reading habits. Centuries of experience in looking at the one through a magnifying glass has engendered a complementary practice of looking at the other through the wrong end of a telescope. Faced with a womans story, were overtaken with the swift taxonomic impulse an amateur astronomer feels on spotting Sirius: There it is! he says, and looks to the next star. Its a pleasant activity because it organises and confirms, but it produces the fantasy that a lazy reading not even a reading, but a looking is adequate, sufficient, complete, correct.

The male glance is how comedies about women become chick flicks. Its how discussions of serious movies with female protagonists consign them to the unappealing stable of strong female characters. Its how soap operas and reality television become synonymous with trash. It tricks us into pronouncing mothers intrinsically boring, and it quietly convinces us that female friendships come in two strains: conventional jealousy, or the even less appealing non-plot of saccharine love. The third narrative possibility, frenemy-cum-friend, is only slightly less shallow. Who consumes these stories? Who could want to?

The slope from taxonomy to dismissal is deceptively gentle, and ends with a shrug. The danger of the male glance is that it is reasonable. Its not always or necessarily incorrect. But it is dangerous, because it looks and thinks it reads. The glance sees little in women-centric stories besides cheap sentiment, or its opposite, the uninteresting compensatory propaganda of female strength. It concludes, quite rightly, that Strong Female Lead is not a story but a billboard.

The male glance is the opposite of the male gaze. Rather than linger lovingly on the parts it wants most to penetrate, it looks, assumes, and moves on. It is, above all else, quick. Under its influence, we rejoice in our distant diagnostic speed. It feeds an inchoate, almost erotic hunger to know without attending to reject without taking the trouble of analytical labour because our intuition is so searingly accurate that it doesnt require it. Here again, we are closer to the amateur astronomer than to the explorer. Rather than investigate or discover, we point and classify.


Generations of forgetting to zoom into female experience arent easily shrugged off, however noble our intentions, and the upshot is that we still dont expect female texts to have universal things to say. We imagine them as small and careful, or petty and domestic, or vain, or sassy, or confessional. We might expect them to be sentimental or melodramatic, or even in the days of Transparent and Girls provocative, unflattering and exhibitionist. But we dont expect them to be experimental, and we dont expect them to be great. We have not yet learned to see within female ugliness the possibility of transcendent art (as we have with its male counterpart), and however far we have come since 2013, thanks to shows such as Insecure, Fleabag and Catastrophe, we still have not quite learned to see female storytellers as either masterful or intentional.

And why should we? The Great American Novel (to choose one metric of excellence) is not, historically, a female genre. As John Cheever so memorably put it, The task of an American writer is not to describe the misgivings of a woman taken in adultery as she looks out of a window at the rain but to describe 400 people under the lights reaching for a foul ball. This is ceremony. Women are fine; they have their place, certainly, but they lack universality. They are not The Public.

When we look at a girl story, most of us go a tiny bit stupid. We fail to see beyond the limits of our own generic expectations. This is how the 2012 Disney film Brave got dismissed by a number of otherwise insightful critics as Just Another Princess Movie. And this is how Doll and Em as brilliant a commentary on how women have been narrated in Hollywood as there has yet been taking on The Godfather, All About Eve and Sunset Boulevard got dismissed as just another satire.

composite:
One was analysed to the point of parody. The other was breezily labelled a satire and forgotten Doll and Em (left) and True Detective. Composite: HBO

Even when we are moved by the work ourselves, our assumption tends to be that the effects these female texts produce are small, or imperfectly controlled, or, even worse, accidental. The text is doing something in spite of itself. This, too, is old. Mark Twain dismissed Jane Austen on the grounds that her characters were unlikeable: Does Jane Austen do her work too remorselessly well? For me, I mean? Maybe that is it. She makes me detest all her people, without reserve. Is that her intention? It is not believable. Then is it her purpose to make the reader detest her people up to the middle of the book and like them in the rest of the chapters? That could be. That would be high art. (The emphases are mine.)

The implication, naturally, is that Austen is incapable of this brand of high art. No woman would intentionally conduct such an experiment. No, the effect she produces on Twain must be a combination of accident and his own powers of perception; his unreserved hatred of a particular character is due to his idiosyncrasy and superior social and literary taste, not her authorial control.

I wish these vapid reading practices masquerading as insight were limited to early American satirists, but of course they arent. How long did it take critics to realise that the protagonists in Lena Dunhams Girls were supposed to be unpleasant? And yet the internet was flooded with thinkpieces wryly observing that the four characters were insufferable as if this was a revelation, as if they had somehow divined a secret Dunham had either tried to hide, or of which she was entirely unaware.

This is still how we treat most female authors. I have observed that male writers tend to get asked what they think, and women what they feel, said Eleanor Catton after winning the Man Booker Prize for her novel The Luminaries. In my experience, and that of a lot of other women writers, all of the questions coming at them from interviewers tend to be about how lucky they are to be where they are about luck and identity and how the idea struck them.

There it is again: chance, accident, and the passive construction of female artistry not How did you create? but How were you struck? Catton puts it well: The interviews much more seldom engage with the woman as a serious thinker, a philosopher, as a person with preoccupations that are going to sustain them for their lifetime.


Faces and stories belong to different domains of experience, but they have one thing in common: we are trained from an early age to consume them differently depending on the gender of their origin. Inspecting a womans face for flaws is often and quite unconsciously, for the most part a dominance exercise. It flatters the observers opinion of his own perspicacity. He comes away convinced that, despite makeup and lighting, he has seen through her attempt at deception and remained unaffected by it. This sneering gaze has been happening for centuries, from Jonathan Swifts 1732 poem The Ladys Dressing Room to the present day, in which we bemusedly watch Botoxed Real Housewives cry.

The risk of this practice isnt its inherent misogyny; we are all working on that. No, the danger is that we think we are seeing clearly when we are actually being dreadfully, cataclysmically myopic. The problem isnt just that we overestimate the accuracy of our perceptions; its that we mistake cover-up for content. Study after study has shown that, no matter how loudly we complain that reality TV is heavily scripted, or that an image is the product of makeup, lighting and Photoshop, we are unable to disregard the evidence of our own eyes. We are fooled by the very effects we think we see through. When we think we are seeing through a womans foundation, then, we have done something a hundred times worse than criticise a woman for her appearance. We have mistaken noticing that there is makeup for correctly perceiving what is behind it.

It is worth pointing out that this has been the point of makeup since time immemorial: to conceal flaws and let observers think they are perceptive by finding the result beautiful. Beauty historically the main outlet for feminine artistic production is not in the eye of the beholder. But that proverb exists for a reason: it flatters the beholder, not the producer of beauty. (This does get flipped on its head in very specific contexts: during conversations about rape, for instance. The what was she wearing? line of argument is one of the few contexts in which womens passive agency over the spectator is both recognised and granted more power than it ought to have.)

This is female chivalry. It consists in allowing us to think we are spontaneously noticing that which has been explicitly put there for us to notice. Like all chivalry, it has pernicious consequences when it goes unappreciated or unobserved.

The consequence of this particular category mistake confusing spotting the mask with seeing under it is that we conclude (subconsciously, of course) that all women are is a lesser version of the mask. There is a very good logic at work here: the mask is there to conceal flaws. If you penetrate the mask, what do you find? Flaws! QED. But what we have actually seen once we have spotted a mask is nothing. A blank. The brain abhors a vacuum, so it populates that blank with the limited data we have the made-up face, slightly degraded. Women, in our poor, preprogrammed imaginings, are just a slightly uglier surface than the one we see and the only intentionality we readily attribute to them is the work of masking.

If traditional male chivalry involves loud displays of care such as ostentatious door-opening, the entire point of female chivalry is that it is functionally invisible. We dont actually realise we have been aesthetically tended to and philosophically cosseted into considering ourselves better readers of surface and depth than we really are. As with any creature spoiled into thinking too well of itself, this breeds a meanness of spirit.

If we were less busy celebrating our perfect vision, we might notice that, under the mask we have spotted, there may lurk a rather interesting and even intentional subjectivity, which in addition to the usual universal human things we all share has been trained from birth to constantly consider and craft its own performance from a third-person perspective. In other words, women in addition to bearing faces whose deceptions we seek to expose are walking around with the usual amount of self-awareness and a few meta layers to boot. There is better performance art in almost any woman than there is in a thousand James Francos.


It might be objected, at this point, that Ive been churlishly dismissing all the intellectually generous watchers and readers of female-centric stories. In other words, who is this we you keep talking about? I dont belong to that we!

The we Im talking about is the we that all of us, regardless of gender or class or race, are trained to identify with from the moment that we start consuming media. Its a we that doesnt quite include the individual in fact, it routinely invites the consumer to identify against herself but its a very real we without whom that individual would be unable to understand or navigate her culture. Its a version of what the scholar and civil rights activist WEB Du Bois called double consciousness: It is a peculiar sensation this sense of always looking at ones self through the eyes of others, of measuring ones soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.

The film theorist Laura Mulvey famously described a womens experience of this we in her analysis of the male gaze: It is always possible that the female spectator may find herself so out of key with the pleasure on offer, with its masculinisation, that the spell of fascination is broken, she writes. On the other hand, she may not. She may find herself secretly, unconsciously almost, enjoying the freedom of action and control over the diegetic world that identification with a hero provides.

The writer Elizabeth Gilbert describes this experience in an interview with the Believer magazine: I spent pretty much the first 10 years of my writing career focused entirely on men. I wrote about men, and I wrote for men. Whenever I wrote about women, either in fiction or in journalism, they were women interlopers in mens worlds. This makes perfect sense to me in retrospect: during those years I think I was truly confused about whether I wanted to be surrounded by men or whether I just wanted to be a man. My favourite moments during those years were when I would be with a group of men (on a ranch, in a bar, on a ship, on a trip) and they would seem to forget for a spell that I was a girl, and I could see their real faces, their true selves. That always seemed beautiful and magical to me.

Many women will identify with the wonder of being allowed into the we. What makes Gilberts reflection compelling is that she is describing a period prior to the publication of her womens books such as Eat, Pray, Love, back when she was considered serious because she wrote books with titles such as Stern Men and The Last American Man. Her career amounts to an experiment similar to the one HBO conducted with True Detective and Doll and Em. Its a tighter setup, in fact, because the same writer praised as a top-notch journalist and fiction writer [who] braids keen and provocative observations about the American frontier, the myth of the mountain man, and the peculiar state of contemporary America with its profound alienation from nature into her spirited and canny portrait was subsequently lampooned for writing chick lit.

Before
Before Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert was considered serious because she wrote books with titles such as Stern Men and The Last American Man

Gilbert is a useful example of how the we works because at least when it came to my own reading I let the we win. The broad dismissal of Eat, Pray, Love was so funny and spirited and goshdarn effective. Articles! Parodies! I believed the anti-hype (in spite, it must be said, of Jennifer Egans extremely positive review), and it worked: I never read the book. I still havent read it. Heres why: its too much mental work, because it would mean reading the book as me and also reading the book as we.

The awful thing about internalising the we is that you have to fight it like a boss if you disagree with its verdict. What if I like Eat, Pray, Love? Do I want to take on the we whose powers of discernment Im too insecure to fully dismiss in order to justify my liking? Will I feel embarrassed by my pleasure, ashamed for falling for what the we so cleverly saw through? This is not a defence of Eat, Pray, Love. Ill repeat: I still have not read it. But that is why its useful as an example: this is how ambient culture works. These streams of derision and praise are the currents that eventually confer greatness.

It also demonstrates the other feature of readerly experience I am trying to describe: the ongoing and exhausting project of having to experience narrative through two sets of eyes. Or three. The further you move away from white cis masculinity, the more points of view you have to juggle. Have you ever played that icebreaker game where youre in a room and the first person has to say their name, then the next person has to say the first persons name and then their own? The last person in the circle has to name every single person in the room before they get to say their own name. That is the marginalised viewers cognitive burden in a nutshell.

You can jump ship, of course: forget the we altogether, relax, and enjoy your own perceptions. But if you do that, youll never be taken seriously as a thinker, scholar, creator, or critic. For many people, that has been a small price to pay.


For those who dont want to jump ship, none of this is comfortable. I began this essay by talking about our visual habits as they have been shaped by the beauty myth, so it seems fitting to conclude with how our visual experience has been shaped by the objectivity myth. This can be summed up in a fairly simple proposition: we dont see complexity in female stories because we have so little experience imagining it might be there.

One of the less intuitive revelations of recent work in cognitive science is that a failure of imagination can actually produce a failure of vision. Our visual system isnt objective. In an article explaining this phenomenon, the journalist Alexis Madrigal describes the weird things that happen when youre invited to look at an image without knowing what to expect from it. An image unlabelled is a daunting blank. You dont know how to approach it, or what to think of it sometimes you might not even quite know what it is. Its a very uncomfortable sensation. Relieving that discomfort requires sacrificing possibility. Once youre invited to impose a particular reading on an image the example Madrigal used involved thinking of the Brazil 2014 World Cup logo as a facepalm it becomes really difficult to see that image as anything else, to unsee it with fresh eyes.

Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons famously showed the effects of selective attention in a video that went viral in 2010. There is a group of six people, three in black shirts, three in white. They have two basketballs. When instructed to count the number of times the players in white pass the basketball, approximately half the viewers completely miss the gorilla that dances through the circle of players, beats its chest and walks away. This phenomenon suggests there might in fact be a cost to the cultural instructions we receive. If male-centric plots are the players in white shirts, if we are told that the bouncing balls are the only plots worth following, how many dancing gorillas did we miss while we were counting?

Its hard to resist the hints the packaging offers, hard to see anything but a chick flick in a female-centric story once you have internalised that expectation of what it is youre watching. Overwhelmed as we are with information, reductive categories distort our visual experience by filtering out whatever doesnt fit, and that distortion produces a calming clarity. This is largely why we read reviews or synopses. It is to make sense of what we just saw; to simplify an inchoate and unnamable experience into something we can carry with us. In the absence of that instruction, we flounder.

We are capable of more. We have to lose the blinkers that have long and faithfully guided our vision. This will be uncomfortable. It begins with an acknowledgment of how dominant the male glance has been, and how the cosmetic analyses we deploy in response to femaleness bind us to surface and blind us to depth. And condemn us, in consequence, to a culture defined by casually diagnostic (and artistically cataclysmic) dismissals.

The next step is harder. Before we can start connecting the dots in non-male stories, we must first assume that there is something there worth seeing. This means resisting the snap judgment and the taxonomic impulse. Before we let the quiet machinery of the we tar a text as cliched or preachy, messy or sentimental, or bitchy or undercooked, lets provisionally grant that there might be some deliberate effect lurking therein particularly under whichever womanish performative sign we spotted that flattered us into looking no further. There may not be. As with all art, some female-centric work will be dull and flat. But unlearning the male glance means recognising that even as we have dismissed non-male artistic intentionality as improbable, we have remained endlessly receptive to the slightest sign of male genius. (The convention of not classifying white male cis straight texts in exactly those terms has paradoxically made them glance-resistant.) Our starting assumption, to correct for our smug inattention throughout history, ought to be that there is likely quite a bit more to the female text than we initially see.

Consider this a rational corrective to centuries of dismissive shrugs, then: look for the gorilla. Do what we already automatically do with male art: assume there is something worthy and interesting hiding there. If you find it, admire it. And outline it, so that others will see it too. Once you point it out, well never miss it again. And we will be better for seeing as obvious and inevitable something that previously absent the instructions we simply couldnt perceive.

There is so much we pitifully think we know.

A longer version of this essay first appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review.

Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, or sign up to the long read weekly email here.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/06/the-male-glance-how-we-fail-to-take-womens-stories-seriously

Here’s The Funny Reason Why Melissa McCarthy Compared Her Dogs To Supermodels

Melissa McCarthy is one of my favorite comedians.

She’s a real treasure, and I often go into her movies not knowing if I’ll like them, but I’m charmed every time. It turns out, she’s just as funny in interviews, too.

During a recent visit to The Ellen Show, she started off by talking about how she had just adopted two dogs and what she’d learned about them so far.

She says it’s like “living with models.” Can you guess which breed of dog she adopted? Find out in the video below.

Youtube / The Ellen Show

Regardless of how intelligent those pups are, I think we can all agree that they’re pretty darn cute.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/supermodel-dogs/

On The Eve Of Black Panther, Let’s Give Blade Some Credit

As the world celebrates a proudly black superhero getting his own film, you may hear some fans quietly muttering, “Wait, didn’t Blade do that like 20 years before Black Panther?” And then there’s an even smaller, weirder group of people saying, “And what about Meteor Man?” But this is about Blade, and what it says about where the world is now versus 1998. (Spoiler: What it says is mostly bad.)

First, remember the context. Back in 1998, we still didn’t know if superhero movies truly worked. Sure, we’d seen success with Batman and Superman, but both of those series had fallen into fatigue before they could get through even three entries. We still hadn’t gotten the boom period that started with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. (Yes, I know that X-Men came before it, but I always felt like Spider-Man unapologetically embraced the comic book aesthetic, whileX-Men was still apologizing for it.)

And then along came Blade. It was a bloody, R-rated superhero movie (long before Deadpool and Logan would be celebrated as trailblazers) featuring a black lead, not to mention a black woman costar (the movie signals this is leading to a romance, but the pair wind up in a partnership of strong, mutual respect). And Blade, under its layers of rad trench coats and vampire raves, has way more to say on the subject of race than you’d think.

Blade is a black vampire in a world dominated by pasty white bloodsuckers who sit around a big table and secretly control everything. But the movie doesn’t do that thing where they use supernatural creatures as a metaphor for some minority (hello, Bright). Blade isn’t symbolically anything; in that universe, he’s actually a vampire and he’s actually black. The latter means the same thing in that world as it does in ours. He is fighting a power structure that fears him, hates him, and has forced him into the life he lives. Yet he’s supremely confident. The first time he shows up in a club of EDM Nosferatus, the entire crowd crouches and slithers and sneaks, while Blade does none of those things. He is direct and he is awesome, and that is terrifying to them.

At one point, Karen Jenson (played N’Bushe Wright), is attacked by a cop who, guess what, turns out to be a dupe for the vampire power structure. Blade proceeds to smack the guy around and demand information — a scene that, if included in a blockbuster today, would probably draw two-dozen enraged tweets from the president. Does Blade say that all police are corrupt? No, the script is smarter than that. That individual bad cop is portrayed as a cog, someone almost pathetically caught up in a larger system. These are themes you would not expect to come up in a Wesley Snipes movie about a kung-fu vampire.

The franchise never backs down from it, either. In Blade II, he’s partnered with the Blood Pack, a group of assassins who have spent years training to hunt Blade, but who now must reluctantly work with him. Within seconds of meeting them, Ron Perlman’s bald, tattooed character Reinhardt asks, “Can you blush?” If that sounds like a nonsense question to you, congratulations on not being intimately familiar with racist pseudoscience (white people, they say, are the only race capable of blushing, and therefore are the only race capable of feeling shame).

Blade responds by smacking Reinhardt twice in the face, then attaching an explosive to the back of his head and telling him that he’ll use it if Reinhardt acts up again. That’s the two-act structure to every Blade scene: 1) Some motherfucker tries to ice skate uphill. 2) Blade handles it.

When Blade does gain more allies in (the thoroughly mediocre) Blade: Trinity, he’s quick to point out that his struggle is not a joke. Ryan Reynolds, showing up here long before Hollywood thought of him as superhero movie material, wears a “Hello, My Name Is” sticker with the words “FUCK YOU” written on it. To that, Blade responds, “You think this is a fucking sitcom?” First of all, I’d really like to know what sitcoms Blade watches. Second, it illustrates that if you want to be an ally, you have to be ready to take it seriously. Approaching it with ironic detachment is a slap in the face.

Yet despite all of this, you didn’t see the mainstream press heralding Blade as some kind of bold risk. Even the positive reviews were based around statements like “What is unusual about the film is the way it combines high-tech violence with the more up-close-and-personal violence of vampires” (yep, you really nailed it, Gene Siskel, and may God rest your soul). The negative reviews spouted shit like “Filter out the gloss, the gore and the insistent techno score, and all you’re left with are the gleaming pecs and bulging biceps of Wesley Snipes as Buff The Vampire Slayer.” You get the sense that 20 years ago, an R-rated, wide-release movie in which a black Marvel superhero beats the shit out of a white cop was considered boring.

Which would almost imply that we’ve gone backward since then, that Black Panther feels like a trailblazer because it does indeed have to re-blaze the trail. Blade came along at the tail end of the Clinton years, a year before the box office would be dominated by parables about mediocre white males having a crisis of identity (American Beauty, Fight Club, The Matrix). Since then we’ve seen regression, not just in terms of race relations but also in what kind of risks movies like this were willing to take. Twenty years later, a movie like Black Panther (and a show like Luke Cage, while we’re at it) feels like a bold slap in the face to the Trump Era.

I’m not trying to take anything away from either of those. I’m just saying that two decades earlier, there was a Marvel superhero movie that featured goddamned Mobb Deep on the soundtrack.

Daniel has a Twitter. Go to it. Enjoy yourself. Kick your boots off and stay for a while.

Real talk the whole Blade soundtrack is pretty killer. Dig in.

If you loved this article and want more content like this, support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/on-eve-black-panther-lets-give-blade-some-credit/

The Shirk Report Volume 460

Welcome to the Shirk Report where you will find 20 funny images, 10 interesting articles and 5 entertaining videos from the last 7 days of sifting. Most images found on Reddit; articles from Facebook, Twitter, and email; videos come from everywhere. Any suggestions? Send a note to submit@twistedsifter.com

20 IMAGES

Friday!
wtf
Elon Musk out here living his best life right now
Did I mention he loves Twitter?
– These two just won their respective theme parties: James Bond | Rainforest
You know what’s better than a floof?
Shoulder cat
Every damn time
The title 😂
‘MURICA!
This Amazon review deserves a Pulitzer
This was designed, reviewed, approved, produced, and installed
Enjoy your Powerball, I just won the avocado lottery
When you snap your board but still have to get home
When you snap your glove and have to spend the rest of the day wondering if anyone saw
M’lady
What a time to be alive
I like how he casually places his dumbbells (wtf?) down first
A little advice before we go
Until next week

10 ARTICLES

1999 at the movies: The year of living dangerously
The House That Spied on Me
The 14-Year-Old Who Convinced People to Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide
A year without food
This simple solution to smartphone addiction is now used in over 600 U.S. schools
Why Paper Jams Persist
Why Uma Thurman Is Angry
Why AWS Dominates The Internet
How Humans Sank New Orleans
Pyeongchang 2018: Mass start speed skating bends the rules at Winter Olympics

5 VIDEOS + first timer

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!

Read more: http://twistedsifter.com/2018/02/the-shirk-report-volume-460/

‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2 just added an incredible new star

Meryl Streep, star of Big Little Lies Season 2
Image: Mike coppola / Getty Images

Just when you thought Big Little Lies couldn’t possibly get any better or bigger, here comes Meryl Motherf*cking Streep to prove you wrong.

Streep has just signed on for the second season of the HBO series. She joins returning stars Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman.

Streep will play the mother of Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård), abusive husband to Celeste (Kidman). His character was (Season 1 spoiler alert!) killed in the first season. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Streep’s Mary Louise is concerned for her grandchildren in the wake of his death, and she’s arrived in Monterey in search of answers.

As The Playlist pointed out on Twitter, Streep and Skarsgård already have an onscreen connection … sort of.

We’re guessing this isn’t actually canon, but we don’t care, we’re going to assume it is and no one can tell us not to.

Alexander Skarsgård is expected to return for the second season of Big Little Lies. No other cast members are locked in at this time – though it seems a safe bet Zoë Kravitz will be back, seeing as the second season is expected to introduce Bonnie’s parents.

Big Little Lies Season 2 will run seven episodes. Series creator David E. Kelley has written all seven episodes, just as he did for the last season. Liane Moriarty, who penned the novel that the first season was based on, helped craft the story.

Andrea Arnold is directing the entire season. She replaces Jean-Marc Vallée, who helmed the last season.

There’s no word yet on when Big Little Lies Season 2 will air – but you can bet we’ll be parked in front of our TVs watching when it does, especially now that they’ve gone and gotten Streep in the mix.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2018/01/24/meryl-streep-big-little-lies-season-2/