Society gains nothing from making so many people feel that mere images of their own bodies are cause for shame.
First, I love Tumblr and want to keep loving it. And yes, it is immediately terrifying to hear that Yahoo (which, from a lot of our perspectives, is a laughably backwards and culturally irrelevant company) is going to own Tumblr. I sympathize.
But there are a number of circumstances in which this will not be a disaster. Let’s think:
WHY TO NOT BE TERRIFIED
- David Karp is being kept on as CEO for at least 4 years. Karp’s policies made Tumblr what it is.
- Tumblr is only as good as we (its creators) are. The idea that the cultural identity and creations we’ve fostered here have become worth a billion dollars is both inspiring and worrisome. But nevertheless, since we hold the value, we hold the power.
- Tumblr is being kept as a separate company. This is what Google did with YouTube and significant changes were very slow to come to YouTube (though they eventually came, and are still coming). My guess is there will be no significant changes to Tumblr for at least 12 months.
- They’re buying it to become more culturally relevant. They know that controlling the platform will reduce or even remove that relevance, so they would be idiots to do it.
WHEN TO ABANDON SHIP
- If Tumblr requires an account somehow linked to Yahoo.
- If David Karp steps down, no matter what the reasons are.
- If you have to pay to reach all of your followers (FACEBOOK!)
- If Yahoo begins censoring legal images and videos.
- If your dashboard becomes three columns by default.
- If more than 10% of the dashboard is taken up by advertising.
ADVICE TO YAHOO! PEOPLE
- Don’t do any of the above things or we will leave and you will own a billion dollar hole in the internet.
- Drop the exclamation point for chrissake…it’s gaudy and grammatically confusing.
Yes, I do wish that Tumblr (being a more interesting kind of company) could have found a more interesting kind of exit for its founders and investors than the old standby of selling to a floundering company trying to revitalize itself. But I think Yahoo and Marissa Mayer are intelligent enough to not totally fuck it up. Here’s hoping.
Number 3 and Number 6 are the most relevant to me. I won’t stand for that.
I would also ad, that if you really want to make money, offer the OPTION to pay for an advertising free experience.
Please “like” me on facebook!
The Man Who Thrifted A Ferrari
Who’d have thought you could thrift a Ferrari?
Matthew R. is an inveterate thrifter. He says he works seventy hours a week, and he’s been buying and selling second-hand clothes since 1998. Not long ago, he started a consignment service, Luxeswap, and not only do their auctions often crop up in our eBay picks, but I’ve personally trusted him to consign a number of clothes in the past. He’s one of the best menswear sellers on eBay. But truly: I had no idea.
This week, Matthew bought a Ferrari. With thrift store money.
Here’s how it happened…
Matthew started thrifting in the late nineties, and quickly learned that when he found something good that didn’t fit him, he could sell it on eBay and make a little dough. The first item was an Emporio Armani sportcoat. It sold for fifty bucks. Like most of us, Matthew took the extra money and spent it on clothes and small indulgences.
In 2007, he read a book called One Red Paperclip. It was written by a man, Kyle MacDonald, who traded a paperclip for a pen for a doorknob for a camping stove and on and on for a year until he had traded for a new house. Matthew thought: how could I turn my own little hobby into something special?
So he started a savings account.
His business money went into a business account. His personal money - the money from his own personal purchases - went into the savings account. And year after year, that money grew.
Then, last week, he took the money and bought a Ferrari.
Matthew says: “This car was born of things that nobody else wanted. Things that people discarded. I wanted to be able to say I thrifted a Ferrari. And I did.”
A genuinely remarkable achievement.
1. If something would be boring and/or undramatic for a male character, it would probably be boring and/or undramatic for a female character. If you’re writing a female character (particularly in a major role), I’d recommend thinking about whether you’d want to read about a male character in that situation or with that trait. If not, then you’re probably boring your readers.
2. The character is useless. Have you made a main character more or less helpless for most of the story? Does she watch as the story happens around her? Does she get repeatedly saved by other characters when the going gets rough? Please think back to #1. You’d probably be bored reading about a more or less helpless guy, right? Your readers will be just as bored by a helpless female.
3. The character’s only defining trait is being hyper-smart or (more rarely) a total ditz. That’s fine for one character among several, but if she’s your only significant female character, it’ll raise questions about your ability to handle female characters at a more relatable level of intelligence.
3.1. The character is totally pure. A character that always does the right thing and has no motivations besides being friendly/agreeable/nice is probably pretty boring. 100% pure characters strain the suspension of disbelief, are less relatable and usually less dramatic. For whatever reason, these types of boring characters are almost always women.
4. Your readers will probably be able to tell if you have not read many female main characters written by female authors. If you don’t have the firsthand experience of actually being a female, being well-read is probably the closest you’ll get to seeing the subtle distinctions between most women and most men in terms of perspective, dialogue and actions. Conversely, when I’m reading manuscripts, the easiest way for me to pick out male characters written by female authors is when 1) the character is hyper-introspective and collected (even in a crisis) and the author doesn’t realize that’s unusual, and/or 2) a male character notices far too many irrelevant details, such as eye color and hair color, and the author inadvertently makes it sound like the character’s ogling someone or writing a fashion review.
5. The character is a love interest that doesn’t have a role outside of romance. She’ll probably be a more interesting love interest if she has something else going on. For example, Lois Lane is (occasionally) a competent reporter whose investigations sometimes tie into Superman’s work. Pepper Potts figured out who kidnapped Tony Stark by breaking into Stane’s office. Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim had a penchant for awesomeness and a mallet. Also, she was a ninja courier for Amazon.
5.1. The character is defined by her physical attractiveness and/or sex appeal. If you consider physical attractiveness one of the three most interesting things about a major character, I would recommend rethinking the character’s development because most likely the character is a love interest that is interesting only to the author. (Think back to #1–you wouldn’t want to read about a guy whose main trait was his handsomeness, would you?) Also, please bear in mind that most of the professionals evaluating your submission will probably be ladies, so you won’t even have the titillation angle working in your favor.
6. The character has no substantial goals besides going along with other characters and/or getting in bed with somebody. If you’re going to bother writing in a character, I’d recommend giving him/her some sort of independent effect on the plot. If not, why bother having the character? Fortunately, you don’t need to give a character much space to give her/him a role to play. For example, Neville Longbottom had around a page of dialogue (~350 words) in the first Harry Potter book and he still managed to raise the stakes for the protagonists by growing a spine at absolutely the worst moment. (Dumbledore’s recognition of his badassery was probably the highlight of the first book for me).
7. The character is mute. In general, I think the mindset behind this decision is “I’m having a lot of trouble writing dialogue for females, so I’ll just make her mute.” In this case, muting a major female character will only draw attention to how bad you think your female dialogue is. I’d strongly recommend practicing your female dialogue instead–the practice will help, and at least you’ll get out of instant-rejection territory.
Must read for anyone who likes writing things or likes criticizing things, or really just anyone. Particularly male writers, but really, everyone.
George Takei responds to “traditional” marriage fans.
George Takei is flawfree.
Ladies and gentlemen. This.
I love George Takei.
the future isn’t looking too bright Bill =/.
That last one. Hurts.
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I think I just saw Emily graslie hiking up to the m but I was too shy to talk to her. :/
You totally did.
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