This month’s Reading Round Up offers a collection of some of the best articles I read, covering topics including Star Wars, the war against Islam, and YA. Plus a list of my own written work. Get those tabs ready!
“Opinion: The Muslim World’s Nightmare Decade” by Kareem Shaheen for BuzzFeedNews: “But the broader, collective tragedy was the cruelty and enmity among supposed brethren. There is an exuberance in inflicting torment and suffering that goes beyond the traditional and practical zero-sum politics of exclusion in the Middle East, whether it is the Orwellian joy of launching military operations with monikers like “Operation Olive Branch” and “Restoring Hope,” the enthusiastic and vindictive mass murder or incarceration of political opponents in countries like Egypt and Turkey, the brazenness of chopping up a journalist inside a consulate, or the vulgarity of a political discourse in which every day is a witch hunt.”
“The Rise of Skywalker: Memorabilia without Memory, a Misunderstanding of Hope” by Jeannette Ng on Medium: “The Rise of Skywalker is built, even structured around sequences and scenes, props and places from the original trilogy. Much like archetype of the trivia-obsessed “fan”, its approach is one of sterile cataloguing. These things are not loved because they mean things within the narrative, they aren’t loved for the symbolism they hold in their specific moments within the story or what the reveal about character, but they are loved as fetishised object to be owned and labelled. The is memorabilia without memory.”
“The Rise Of Skywalker, And How Star Wars Is Junk” by Chuck Wendig on Terribleminds: “[Rise of Skywalker is] junk cobbled together from all the other detritus and debris from this galaxy — in many cases, literally so, as it endeavors to climb to the top of the pile of this wonderfully broken galaxy and culminate both three films (this trilogy) and nine films (the trilogy of trilogies). It makes this attempt, and mostly, gets it right. “Gets it right,” is subjective, obviously, and I’m not making any declarations here for how it objectively does this or that. Some people are going to love this film and some are going to hate it and all of those people, I think, could stand to remember that Star Wars is junk, and so is this movie.”
“To Outsiders, YA Is Eating Itself; To Insiders, It’s Bettering Itself” by Kelly Jensen for BookRiot: “The last ten years of YA literature have not seen a dimming of its glow. Rather, the last decade has seen a category created and built by (primarily white) women forced to build a longer table and pull up chairs for other traditionally marginalized voices. The YA world has, piece by piece, been working to dismantle white supremacy and ever-present male privilege, making space for voices that have been quieted for far too long.”
“JK Rowling was always this terrible” by Laurie Charles on Medium: “Rowling must be one of two things here. Either she understands the distinction between whitewashing violence and nurturing peace, in which case her position is exceptionally cruel; or she is catastrophically ignorant of how patriarchal violence works, in which case her status as a feminist icon becomes worthless anyway. She is certainly out of touch with today’s unmissable societal shift on abuse, which alone raises the question of whether her cultural leadership retains any value whatsoever.”