[syndicated profile] angry_asian_man_feed

Posted by Phil Yu

By Jenn Fang. Cross-Posted from Reappropriate.



Charlyne Yi -- the award-winning actor, comedian, writer, and musician best known for her role as a series regular on House, her voice acting work on Steven Universe, and her starring role in Paper Heart which she also wrote -- took to Twitter earlier this week to describe her first encounter with writer, director and actor David Cross.

In a series of four tweets, Yi -- who is mixed race Filipinx and Korean American -- describes how when she first met Cross, Cross made fun of Yi for her appearance. When she didn't respond, Cross reportedly said: "What's a matter? You don't speak English?? Ching-Chong-Ching-Chong." Cross went on to mockingly challenge Yi to a karate match.

At the time of the encounter, Cross was over forty years old, and already an established comedian, writer and TV and film actor with several stand-up comedy specials already under his belt. Yi was a veritable newcomer to the comedy and acting scene, and was only about twenty years old.







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[syndicated profile] angry_asian_man_feed

Posted by Phil Yu

Celebrate 18MR's five years of organizing Asian Americans online.



Just wanted to point your attention to this awesome t-shirt design from our friends at 18 Million Rising. To celebrate five years of organizing Asian Americans online, as well as fundraise to keep it all going for the future, they're offering these super-cool limited shirts and hoodies.

Designed by Karl Orozco, the shirt is a re-imagining/inversion of the old political cartoon about the "yellow peril" tiger attacking the globe. According to 18MR, "we wanted our tiger to protect the globe as our communities increasingly find ourselves on the frontlines of state violence, gentrification, and climate change."

Read more »
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Posted by Phil Yu

Travel ban "plainly discriminates based on nationality" in a way that is "antithetical" to American principles.



Trump keeps trying to make this shit happen. And Hawaii keeps knocking it down. A federal judge in Hawaii has issued an order blocking major parts of Trump's newest travel ban, suggesting it violated immigration law.

The decision, ordered by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu on Tuesday, stopped the administration’s travel restrictions nationwide, hours before they were scheduled to take full effect Wednesday.

The newest travel rules, which Trump signed September 24, indefinitely ban entry to the U.S. by most nationals of Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea. They also restrict travel by certain Venezuelan government officials and their families.

Watson wrote that the ban goes against the Immigration and Nationality Act and "plainly discriminates based on nationality" in a way that is "antithetical" to American principles. He also said the order "lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries" would harm U.S. interests.

More here: Federal judge in Hawaii blocks Trump's new travel ban

What I'm watching in October

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:45 pm
meganbmoore: (covert affairs: gimme tv)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
kdramas:

Avengers Social Club
Bad Thief, Good Thief 
Because This is My First Life 
Empress Chunchu
The Package 
While You Were Sleeping 

cdrama:

Nirvana in Fire 

anime: 

Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth 
Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World (2017)
Mahou Tsukai no Yome 

US/British/Canadian TV:

Brooklyn 99 
Ghost Wars
Ghosted 
The Gifted
The Good Place 
Madam Secretary
The Mayor
Midsomer Murders 
Riverdale 
The Shannara Chronicles
Tangled: The Series 
Victoria 

wherein Liz has a day of argh

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:43 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
So my work day started with two tenants coming in to say they'd locked themselves out of their bathroom, continued through twenty million leases to process, and ended with another tenant coming in literally one minute before closing to say they thought they had to fill out a form, maybe...? which was actually three forms, one of which I had to generate specially and then highlight the relevant sections because nobody ever fills it out correctly otherwise. *headdesk*

I mean, at least I will get paid for the extra twenty minutes I stayed? But holy gods, argh argh and above all, argh.

(The bathroom, incidentally, was an easy fix. All it takes is a judiciously applied paperclip! But I had to go apply the fix in person because apparently tenants are bad at comprehending verbal explanations at 9am when they really need to pee. (To be fair, I probably would be as well.))

...

On the bright side, I got a two-hour tax continuing education course finished before Mom Boss dumped the never-ending leases on me, so that's something.

FMK #27: Judge A Book By Its Title

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:40 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's winners were not what I expected! But F goes to The Red Tent and K goes to The Magicians (which is WAY more hated than I had realized! For good reason apparently.)

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

This week's theme: I have no idea what this book is about, I'm pretty sure I only have it for the title.

Poll: Bail, Capote, Carey, Collins, Connors, Corliss, Ericson, Galloway, Gould, Morse, Shann, Shreve, Townsend, Wodehouse )
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

This HaBO is from Mai, who’s been searching for this book for months:

I am not quite sure if this is a full-length novel, a novella, or part of an anthology.

It’s a historical book — the male lead is probably an earl or a duke of some sort and he’s married with children, but routine has dampened his and his wife’s relationship quite a bit. The man starts to leave his wife little notes to rekindle their love and I think these notes are about his fantasies or maybe he asks her out; I’m not too sure exactly.

I also remember that the male lead thinks a friend of his wife might be after her and that’s why he is so desperate to have her fall back in love with him.

Does anyone know this one?

[syndicated profile] angry_asian_man_feed

Posted by Phil Yu

"Chinatown lives are not poverty porn!"



On Sunday afternoon in New York, dozens of protesters from the Chinatown Art Brigade and other local art and anti-gentrification activist groups converged in the front room of James Cohan Gallery's Chinatown location, demanding that the gallery take down what the group is calling "racist art."

Their target: Omer Fast's new exhibition, August, which has transformed the space to appear like a poorly maintained Chinatown business. Visitors walk through the space to see the artist's video work in the backroom.

In a letter sent to the gallery last week, CAB called the exhibition a "racist aggression towards the community of Chinatown," and added "this show reifies racist narratives of uncleanliness, otherness and blight that have historically been projected onto Chinatown."

More here: Chinatown Art Brigade Protests Omer Fast's "Racist" Exhibition at James Cohan Gallery

does anybody else know you like i do?

Oct. 17th, 2017 01:38 pm
musesfool: text icon that says "go away you are tormenting my soul" (cheer up emo kid)
[personal profile] musesfool
Yesterday, I checked to make sure my application package had been delivered and FedEx said there was a delivery exception!!! the business was closed!!! and I was like, "!!!" but luckily it was reattempted and delivered by noon instead of 10:30 am. Still, though. Can nothing just go smoothly?

In other news, I just wrote and deleted a writing rant, but suffice it to say, "start as close to the end as possible" remains one of the best and most useful bits of writing advice I ever heard.

***

"Artist=President Barack Obama"

Oct. 17th, 2017 04:00 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

Alex Jones, contact LLOG immediately! Never mind Pizzagate, never mind Sandy Hook, never mind the FEMA concentration camps, never mind the fake moon landings. This morning I stumbled on evidence, lying around in plain sight, for a systematic program of deception so huge — and yet so improbable — that even InfoWars listeners will find it hard to believe: Donald Trump is actually Barack Obama in disguise.

For years, I've been collecting and analyzing the weekly addresses of various American presidents — see e.g. "Political sound and silence", 2/8/2016; "Some speech style dimensions", 6/27/2016; "Trends in presidential pitch", 5/19/2017; "Trends in presidential pitch II", 6/21/2017.

Today I was catching up with Donald Trump's weekly addresses, downloading the .mp3 files from whitehouse.gov. The most recent weekly address is available at

https://www.whitehouse.gov/featured-videos/video/2017/10/13/101317-weekly-address

with the mp3 download link

https://www.whitehouse.gov/videos/2017/October/20171013_Weekly_Address.mp3

After downloading the mp3 file, in order to check its characteristics, I ran soxi. I've done this before, but in the past I just looked at the things I cared about, namely the sampling frequency and number of channels. But this time, I happened to look at the ID3 metadata fields as well:

Input File : '20171013_Weekly_Address.mp3'
Channels : 2
Sample Rate : 16000
Precision : 16-bit
Duration : 00:03:26.17 = 3298752 samples ~ 15462.9 CDDA sectors
File Size : 3.45M
Bit Rate : 134k
Sample Encoding: MPEG audio (layer I, II or III)
Comments :
Title=Weekly Address
Artist=President Barack Obama
Album=The White House
Tracknumber=1
Year=2016
Genre=12

I wondered whether this was a one-time glitch, so I checked the history. The first of President "Trump"'s weekly addresses is available at

https://www.whitehouse.gov/featured-videos/video/2017/02/03/weekly-address

with the mp3 download link

https://www.whitehouse.gov/videos/2017/February/20170203_Weekly_Address.mp3

And the metadata is the same:

Input File : '20170203_Weekly_Address.mp3'
Channels : 2
Sample Rate : 16000
Precision : 16-bit
Duration : 00:04:20.24 = 4163904 samples ~ 19518.3 CDDA sectors
File Size : 4.27M
Bit Rate : 131k
Sample Encoding: MPEG audio (layer I, II or III)
Comments :
Title=Weekly Address
Artist=President Barack Obama
Album=The White House
Tracknumber=1
Year=2016
Genre=12

In fact this is consistent in all of the Weekly Addresses from Donald Trump's White House.

It's not an issue in all mp3 encodings from the White House — thus Melania Trump's 10/17/2017 "Hurricane Relief PSA" is attributed to "Artist=The White House", even if the year is still given as 2016:

Input File : '20171011_FLOTUS_DTC.mp3'
Channels : 2
Sample Rate : 16000
Precision : 16-bit
Duration : 00:00:31.50 = 504000 samples ~ 2362.5 CDDA sectors
File Size : 696k
Bit Rate : 177k
Sample Encoding: MPEG audio (layer I, II or III)
Comments :
Title=FLOTUS DTC – T6
Artist=The White House
Album=The White House
Tracknumber=1
Year=2016
Genre=12

And the same is true for the president's joint news conference with PM Theresa May back in January:

Input File : '20170127_POTUS_and_PM_May_JPA.mp3'
Channels : 2
Sample Rate : 16000
Precision : 16-bit
Duration : 00:18:19.20 = 17587168 samples ~ 82439.9 CDDA sectors
File Size : 17.8M
Bit Rate : 130k
Sample Encoding: MPEG audio (layer I, II or III)
Comments :
Title=POTUS and PM May JPA
Artist=The White House
Album=The White House
Tracknumber=1
Year=2016
Genre=12

It's just the weekly addresses that are attributed to "President Barack Obama"

By the way, you may be as disappointed as I was to learn that the "Genre=12" just means "Other" — I was hoping for maybe "[23] => Pranks" or "[58] => Cult" or "[136] => Christian Gangsta".

Jokes aside, what this means is presumably that the Trump White House inherited a recording and web-distribution set-up from the Obama White House, and neglected to change the ID3 metadata information for various categories of material.

 

Scots, Vamps, & Jenny Han

Oct. 17th, 2017 03:30 pm
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

Nothing Like a Duke

Nothing Like a Duke by Jane Ashford is $1.99! This is a Kindle Daily Deal and is currently being price-matched. Redheadedgirl picked this one for a previous Hide Your Wallet since she’s enjoyed the series thus far. Readers said there’s some great banter in the book, but wished the plot and conflict had a bit more oomph.

A Georgette Heyer-esque tale of high society in the glittering Regency

Lord Robert Gresham has given up all hope that the beautiful Flora Jennings will ever take him seriously. He heads to an exclusive country house party to forget about Flora, but his plans are thwarted when she suddenly arrives.

Their attraction flares, but their romance becomes complicated when the sinister Anthony Durand shows up and threatens Flora. Every bone in Robert’s body says to save her…but he’ll have to learn that some damsels in distress can save themselves if he truly wants to win her heart.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks

and

amazon

 

 

 

If You Dare

If You Dare by Kresley Cole is $2.99! This is the first book in the MacCarrick Brothers series. Readers might be more familiar with Cole’s paranormal romances, but she started with writing historical romances. Cole typically writes Alpha heroes and this book is no exception. It has a 4-star rating on Goodreads.

Kresley Cole introduces a thrilling new romance trilogy featuring fierce Scottish brothers with dangerous lives, dark desires, and a deadly curse.

Can he exact revenge?

High in the Pyrenees, a band of mercenaries led by Courtland MacCarrick wages war for General Reynaldo Pascal. When Court turns on the evil general, Pascal orders him killed, but Court narrowly escapes and exacts revenge by kidnapping Pascal’s exquisite Castilian fiancée.

Can she deny her passions?

Lady Annalía Tristán Llorente despises her towering, barbaric captor almost as much as she does Pascal. Her inexplicable attraction to the Highlander only fuels her fury. But nothing will stop her from returning to Pascal—for if she doesn’t wed him, she signs her brother’s death warrant, as well as her own.

Can there be love between them?

From the moment Court discovers that Anna’s prim façade masks a fiery, brave lass, his heart’s ensnared, and he dares to defy the curse that has shadowed his life—to walk with death or walk alone. But Pascal vows that he’ll hunt the two, never stopping until he’s destroyed them both.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play iBooks

and

amazon

 

 

 

Bittersweet Blood

Bittersweet Blood by Nina Croft is 99c! This is the first book in The Order series and right now, you can grab all three books for less than $3! There’s definitely an element of suspense, which readers liked, while others felt it had a lot going on in terms of the cast of characters.

Tara Collins just wants to be normal. Everyone else wants her dead.

Tara’s eccentric aunt raised her to be fearful of the world and follow the rules. But after her aunt’s death, Tara is ready to take control and experience life for the first time. But she quickly discovers that everything she’s been told is a web of lies. Determined to solve the mystery of who she is truly, she hires private investigator to help her uncover the truth.

Christian Roth is more than your average PI. A vampire and ex-demon hunter, Christian lives among the humans, trying to be “normal.” But recently, things seem to be falling apart. There’s a crazed demon hell-bent on revenge hunting him down, and a fae assassin on the loose with an unknown target. And the Order he abandoned desperately needs his help.

As the secrets of Tara’s past collide with the problems in Christian’s present, she finds herself fighting her attraction to the dark and mysterious investigator. Falling in love does not fit into her plans at all, but Tara soon learns that some rules are meant to be broken.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play iBooks

and

amazon

 

 

 

Burn for Burn

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian is $2.99! This is a YA novel about three young women out for revenge and I immediately added this to my TBR pile when I saw it on sale. Be warned that there’s a quasi-cliffhanger ending, given that this is the first book in a trilogy.

BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY…THEY GET EVEN

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes — and three girls secretly plotting revenge.

KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.

LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.

MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.

None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.

With an unlikely alliance in place, there will be no more “I wish I’d said…” or “If I could go back and do things differently…” These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play iBooks

and

amazon

 

 

 

on red lipstick.

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:22 am
quigonejinn: (Default)
[personal profile] quigonejinn
A ranking of bright red liquid lipsticks that I own:

1. Nars PowerMatte, Starwoman
2. Kat Von D, Outlaw
3. Beauty Bakerie, Cranberry Stiletto

Which is to say that these are all infinitely more fit for my purposes than the DHC or tube lipstick I grew up watching my mother use, where it's off and on my teeth in under 15 minutes, or where I don't want to eat or drink anything because it'll take the lip color off. If I'm going to wear a big vibrant fun red lip, I want to be able to, y'know, actually have fun with it on, right? Without worrying it'll come off on every water glass and pastry, right?

In that respect, Beauty Bakerie hits it the fuck out of the park. There is zeeeeeeeero transfer with that bad boy. None. Like, eat a floating island with concomittant custard and press your mouth with a full-on white napkin and see n o t h i n g. Not even a speck of red. The downside is that it's pretty drying, that it's fucking balls to get off the mouth at the end of the day, and worst of all, the formula is super-thin, which means that a klutz-hander like me always has problems, because I can't get it on in a single layer. I have to go back and patch it up and smooth out lines, which leaves me with bits that are darker and bits that are lighter. In nail polish terms, we'd say it was bad at leveling, and on the mouth, it's not a great look. It also dries down to a somewhat darker red than I'd like.

The liquid in the Kat Von D, on the other hand, goes on like a dream. It self-levels beautifully and has aaaaaaaaaaalmost the same level of staying power as the Beauty Bakerie, but comes off a lot more easily. It gets dinged because the application wand is awkwardly long and not quite as nicely shaped as the other two lipsticks on the list (there's a reason why the Kat Von D Glimmerveils have a much shorter application wand), and because if you do eat something like a super-buttery pastry and drink tea, you'll end up with ye olde butthole mouth, which is when the lipstick wears away in the ring where your mouth is wettest, but stays at the edges and, y'know. I'd suggest googling "butthole lips", but you'll end up with a lot of pictures of Donald Trump.

NARS Powermatte is, I think, my favorite right now. Yeah, it does have the most transfer of the three, and it takes BALLS LONG TO DRY. On the other hand, the applicator may be my platonic ideal of a liquid lipstick applicator, it goes on like a dream and doesn't feel drying at all, and since it's both a stain and a liquid lipstick, when it does come off, it comes off evenly, so I didn't get butthole lips, even when I put it through basically the lipstick version of the Inquisition -- a four hour appearance at a gala* during which I ate passed hors d'oevures and a four course dinner that was really actually six courses, as the last two courses of which were really four courses (cheese AND salad, omelette norvegienn AND petits fours) and the first course of which was freaking lobster thermidor, served in lobster bisque that you fucking better believe I mopped up with the entire mini-baguette it came with.

End of the night, I still had enough pigment left over that when I smooched Mr. Rhod on the shoulder, I left a big ol' mark. So the good! And also the bad! Though I'm trying to resist buying more NARS Power Matte because they're no longer cruelty-free.

* My life is not that fancy. Except when it is!

Invitational spam from a junk journal

Oct. 17th, 2017 03:04 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum

I continue to be astonished by the sheer volume of the junk email I get from spam journals and organizers of spamferences, and by the utter linguistic ineptitude of the unprincipled hucksters responsible for the spam. Every month I get dozens of new-journal announcements, calls for papers, requests for conference attendance, subscription offers, and so on. Today I got a prestige invitation based flatteringly on my published work. It began thus:

After careful evaluation and reading your article published in Journal of Logic, Language and Information entitled "On the Mathematical Foundations of", we decided to send you this invitation.

Clearly the careful evaluation and reading did not enable them to get to the end of my title (it does not end in of). And what was the invitation?

In light of your remarkable achievements in Critical Care, we would like to invite you to join the Editorial Board of Journal of Nursing.

Nursing. I'm an expert in critical care nursing, apparently. If the email were not so clearly machine-generated, I could almost have seen it as a cruel allusion to my year of looking after my wife Tricia before she died last year. But no, it's not that. They claim to have ascertained my distinction in critical care from their careful reading of a paper of which the full title is "On the mathematical foundations of Syntactic Structures." It's a technical examination of the formalism of Noam Chomsky's first book on syntactic theory (Journal of Logic, Language and Information 20: 277-296, 2011).

Almost all of the hundreds and hundreds of new rip-off journals who send me this sort of spam are based in China. This one "is supported and partially financed by the hosting organization, Beijing Spring City Educational Publications Research Center."

The support of this research center has allowed the publishers "to reduce the OA article publishing charges from $800 to $150 (additional $50 applied if print version is required)." So if you want to see your article about nursing in print, you send them $200. And I suspect that when choosing whether to publish your paper they will exercise all the care they showed in reading my syntax paper and confirming my credentials in critical care.

There are many things to worry about in connection with the birth of flocks of spam journals, scores at a time: confusion for students, pollution of the scientific literature, degrading of the concept of a refereed journal, publication of ill-reviewed junk science, and (if even a few libraries occasionally take out misguided subscriptions to these crap journals) waste of library budgets.

Gross syntactic errors in promotional material provide an almost infallible indicator of spamhood in a journal. Not many journals send unsolicited email to advertise themselves, but the few promotional emails I occasionally get from proper journals are always at least literate. Whereas this one says:

Our journal, Journal of Nursing, is a new journal which urgently needs professional like you to join our editorial board and help and support the journal to a healthy grow.

I hope none of you professional will support it to a healthy grow. You don't need to be much of a sleu to know they are not telling the tru; their journal is not wor one twelf of the paper that it costs an extra $50 to be printed on.

[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

This HaBO request comes from Julia and she’s trying to find a medieval romance:

I read this medieval romance about 12 years ago, back when I was a tween and my local public library still had their romance novels in one spot: the very back of the Adult Fiction section. I do not remember character names or the author, sadly. Here’s what I remember:

– Book was probably set in the 1300s.

– Heroine finds out her older sister has died and their father pulls her out of a convent to marry the hero in her sister’s place. I think the sister’s name was Sibylla, or some form of the name, but it may have been the heroine’s name instead.

– There’s a big spiel about spouses sleeping naked together. Heroine is nervous about this but hero assures her he’s not going to do anything until she’s more comfortable. Though I’m convinced he taught her the proper way to spoon.

– I remember a large battle at the end, where the hero’s helmet flies off during a duel with someone, probably the villain. I also think the heroine was either pregnant at this point or is giving birth while this is going on.

– The author had a “Historical Notes” section at the end. I think she used part of it to explain politics, how the hero’s helmet fell off during his duel, and say that “yes, medieval spouses slept naked”.

– I know there was an inside cover, and I think dark fuchsia was…incredibly prominent. It may have been a giant bed with dark fuchsia sheets. The fuchsia may have been on the cover as well.

Fuchsia alert!

Star Trek: Discovery

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:13 am
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
Before we get into this post, please know: I am not a Trek fan and have never been a Trek fan. I like maybe 2 characters (MAYBE) and a select few episodes from like, ALL OF STAR TREK CANON and furthermore: I've not seen most of the Star Trek canon. I also have a lot of not-necessarily-positive feelings about Star Trek FANDOM that I've been known to vent about so.

Please please ask yourself whether, knowing that, you really want to read the rest of this entry (which will contain mostly snark). Also know: if this entry isn't for you, I still love you and would never judge you (or anyone) for a single second for liking the things you like.

General thoughts on Star Trek )

Star Trek: Discovery 1x05 - Choose Your Pain )

His Dark Kiss by Eve Silver

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:00 am
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Elyse

B+

His Dark Kiss

by Eve Silver
November 24, 2013 · Eve Silver
Gothic

Before I ever read a romance novel, I devoured Gothics by Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. When I was probably around twelve I found them on a bookshelf in our basement, and I think over the course of one summer I read everything both authors had written.

Gothic romances were and are the perfect blend of the creepy and the sexy. Usually set on a crumbling estate, the innocent heroine shows up (sometimes as a governess or poor relation or new wife) to meet the dark and mysterious lord of the manor/castle/whatever. These books were always told only from the heroine’s POV as she tried to piece together spooky happenings (ghosts, curses, diaries left behind by mysteriously dead former wives) while simultaneously fearing the hero and also wanting to bone him.

Sadly, there was no boning in Victoria Holt’s novels, but Eve Silver’s  Dark Gothic series is here to rectify that. His Dark Kiss is the second book in the series, but totally works as a stand-alone read.

Emma Parrish arrives at Manorbrier Castle to act as governess to the son of her late cousin, Delia. Rumors abound that Lord Anthony Craven, Delia’s husband, was responsible for her death, but practical Emma dismisses this all as “stuff and nonsense.”

When she gets to Manorbrier, however, she realizes some seriously spooky shit is going on. First of all, the previous two governesses died under mysterious circumstances.

She overhears her student, adorable plot moppet Nicky, discussing her with the cook:

“I haven’t met her yet. But if she is like Miss Strubb or Miss Rust or…” The child shivered and hesitated briefly before saying the woman’s name in a hushed whisper. “…Mrs. Winter, then I think I should not like to meet her at all. And certainly if she is like Mrs. Winter, then she should go away and never come back. Papa could send her off in a pine box. Just like he sent Mrs. Winter.”

A pine box? Emma stood frozen, digesting the implications of all she had overheard. Clearly the child was frightened, and had quite possibly been ill-treated by his previous governesses. That he had suffered was a sad thing to be sure, but his trust could be gained with patience and love. So she worried not overmuch as to Nicky’s opinion of her, but the mention of a pine box for the unknown Mrs. Winter gave her pause. There was only one type of pine box he could mean.

A chill crept across Emma’s skin. It seemed that Mrs. Winter had left Manorbrier in a coffin, and by the child’s account, it was Lord Anthony who had put her there.

One of the things that’s tricky in a Gothic is making the hero a menacing and potentially murderous figure, while simultaneously making him desirable to the heroine and reader. Like a true Gothic hero, Anthony is darkly mysterious and handsome, and has a penchant for wandering around his castle with his shirt unbuttoned but tucked in. The Gothic hero sometimes intersected with (or was a precursor to) the vampire hero, so if you’re confused as to how he could be appealing, think about Spike or Angel or whoever Sarah McLachlan was singing about in “Building a Mystery” (ah, the nineties. Good times).

Emma doesn’t think Anthony is a murderer. He’s a devoted and loving father to Nicky, and he’s also very kind to those in his employ (when a maid gets pregnant out of wedlock, he keeps her on and also pays for the care of her sick mother). But there’s definitely something fucked up going on at Manorbrier. For one, all the other servants seem creepy and tight lipped about everything, like they’re all in on some huge conspiracy. Then there’s the mysterious Round Tower that Emma is explicitly forbidden from entering.

One day Emma is enjoying the fresh air when she sees the coachman, Griggs, carrying a bundle into the Round Tower:

From the bottom of the bundle dangled a human hand, the fingers curled like talons, the skin wrinkled and pale save for a terrible blackened lesion that marred the flesh, the center glistening wetly in the sun. Emma gasped and lurched away. ‘Twas not just any body, but a terrible, frightening thing riddled with disease.

Taking another involuntary step backward, she held up one hand, palm forward. Such a futile gesture aimed at warding off the horror that confronted her. She swallowed against the bile that crawled up her throat as frozen talons of true horror gouged her heart.

Griggs looked down.

“His Lordship likes ’em fresh,” he said. “Says it’s best for the harvest.” With a grunt, he hefted his morbid parcel, turned his back on her, and disappeared into the tower.

Now, any sane person would be like:

Anna from Frozen says Uhh...okay. Well, I'm gonna go...

Not the Gothic heroine, though. The Gothic heroine is gonna wait until midnight, put on her flimsiest nightgown, grab a candle, and go figure this shit out.

One of the things this novel does really well is keep Anthony a darkly intriguing figure while also making him super bone-able. It’s a tough chord to strike, balancing fear and desire together, and going too far in any direction will ruin the mood so to speak.

Emma is illegitimate and acutely aware of what an affair with the lord of the castle could mean for someone in her position. That said, she and Anthony are drawn to each other with a delicious intensity.  And the sex scenes in this book are hella hot.

One of the things that was a little frustrating, but also frankly a convention of the genre, is that much of the conflict could have been solved by Emma and Anthony talking. “Hey, why is Griggs carrying bodies into the Round Tower?” would be a pretty reasonable question to ask. Emma doesn’t often explicitly voice her concerns and when she does Anthony answers her in a vague and roundabout way. It keeps the mystery going, but it’s irksome.

That mystery is resolved nicely though and the clues as to what the hell is really going are peppered throughout the book in a way that the reader can solve it if they want to.

Now I do want to add a trigger warning. There’s a scene where a woman is in labor and in distress, and there is a frank conversation with the physician about performing an abortion (and how it would be performed) in order to save her life. This could be upsetting for anyone who had experienced something similar.

His Dark Kiss is also fairly creepy. It didn’t give me nightmares, but the horror element is sufficiently explicit that it might freak out more sensitive readers. Since I read creepy shit all the time, it didn’t bother me much.

If you’ve never read a Gothic and want to try one, or are just looking for seasonally spooky read, His Dark Kiss would be a good place to start.

[syndicated profile] angry_asian_man_feed

Posted by Phil Yu

Watch Kumail Nanjiani's opening monologue from 'Saturday Night Live.'



Hey, racists! Kumail Nanjiani would take you a little more seriously if you could just get it right.

Over the weekend, the Pakistani American comedian, fresh off the summer success of his indie romantic comedy The Big Sick, performed hosting duties on Saturday Night Live. During the opening monologue, he delivered a hilarious, timely standup set, taking on racism and... more racism.

Among other things, he pointed out the very real fact that Sikhs are often targeted with Islamophobic violence, mistaken for Muslims. This is a challenging thing to joke about, but Kumail just slays it. He also clarifies what bothers him most about racism: the inaccuracy. Racists, you're just not coming at this with correct information -- and it's not working out for you.

"I'm like, do the research," Kumail says. "Put in the work. You will see the benefits!"

Check it out:

Read more »

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