A Reminder, A Rant & A Recap

This post consists of three parts: a reminder, a rant and a recap. Or, if you want to look at it that way, a reminder and two rants. Let’s get down to business.

Warning for some bad language in the rants. Also, some spoilers for all of Sherlock so far.

1. Reminder: the Mental Health Reading Challenge starts tomorrow. I’m very excited. More info + signups here.

2. Rant: This rant is about queer baiting.

“What is queer baiting?” you ask, a quizzical expression on your face.

The term refers to what happens “when people in the media (usually television/movies) add homoerotic tension between two characters to attract more liberal and queer viewers with the indication of them not ever getting together for real in the show/book/movie”. says Wikipedia.

You shrug. “So what?”

It can even add up to the point where it hurts the queer audience. Queer baiting often plays potentially queer hints and references as mere jokes, but “if the representations in question utilize humour, are queer people in on the joke or are they the joke?”[4]  (a

Is representation a joke? I think not. If you do, that’s your opinion but I’m going to take a wild guess and say you probably don’t feel very marginalized in your daily life. I see way too few characters with disabilities on television. I see way too few women and when I see them they are often portrayed as erratic or superficial. That fucking hurts me.

Storylines where a character can’t be fulfilled until they have overcome a disability fucking hurt me. Representation like that makes me feel as though I’m not enough. I was very angry when John Watson’s limp on Sherlock turned out to be psychosomatic, because it looked as though he only became a competent and interesting character when the disability was cured. That fucking hurts me.

Now, I’m personally not gay. I am, however, a student of cultural analysis and a vocal advocate for equality. I believe in the importance of equal representation in media such as television, and that’s why I’m really kind of angry at the creators of Sherlock: Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat.

Here comes part 3: a recap of the relationship between John & Sherlock so far. Alternative title: a second rant: John & Sherlock LOVE each other.

When they first met in A Study In Pink, John and Sherlock had the following conversation in a candlelit Italian restaurant:

 

Dr John Watson: You don’t have a girlfriend, then?

Sherlock Holmes: Girlfriend? No, not really my area.

Dr John Watson: Oh, right. Do you have a boyfriend?… Which is fine, by the way.

Sherlock Holmes: I know it’s fine.

Dr John Watson: So you’ve got a boyfriend, then?

Sherlock Holmes: No.

Dr John Watson: Right. Okay. You’re unattached, just like me. Right. Good.

Sherlock Holmes: [pause] John, um… I think you should know that I consider myself married to my work and while I’m flattered, by your interest…

 (Source: IMDB)

 

Please keep in mind that the gentlemen knew each other for less than a day at that point. Keep in mind that Sherlock has some serious issues about opening up emotionally, and that Sherlock, the most observant man in the whole wide world, had somehow gotten the idea that John was romantically attracted to him. A few scenes later, they looked at each other like this.

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Goodreads Reading Challenge

I challenged myself to read 52 books in 2016 and (drumroll) I succeeded!

The longest book I read was Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire. The shortest was probably The Lady With The Pet Dog by Anton Chekhov. I read two books of poetry, one by Richard Siken and one by Alan Ginsberg. I read eleven books I would classify as Young Adult and only one play: Brecht’s Dreigroschenoper.

Here’s a top five of my favorite books I read for the first time this year.

5. Doktor Glas by Hjalmar Soderberg

4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

3. Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

2.  The Yellow Wallpaper & Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1. Americanah by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie

My least favorite book with absolutely no competition was:

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Here’s the full list of books I read in 2016:

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Merry Christmas!

This is a very disorganized post listing all of my favorite Christmas-related pop culture. That means books, film, TV and music. All of these put me in the Christmas spirit Merry Christmas, y’all.

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG OF ALL TIME: Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl

Kurt & Blaine singing Baby It’s Cold Outside on Glee

Klaine was amongst my very first OTP’s. When this song aired, they hadn’t gotten together yet, and I was so sure they would in the Christmas ep, but then I had to wait even longer… Oh, the torture of being a frenzied fangirl.

 

A Very Sorry Christmas by The New Mendicants

I like this song. And I wanted to share a Christmas song that was not (yet) incredibly well-known, so here we are.

 

Studio 60  season 1, episode O Holy Night

Blogpost(s) about the absolutely crazy amazingness of Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip are forthcoming. I must first finish my West Wing-binge, though, because I can’t handle more than one Sorkin-show at the time. Either way, Christmas is the time for romance and so it is for Jordan and Danny. Damn, I need to watch this again.  Continue reading

LGBTQIA Challenge

The LGBTQIA Reading Challenge

Books I read this year with LGBTQIA main characters:

  1. Crush – Richard Siken
  2. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
  3. Maurice – E.M Forster
  4. Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
  5. The Thing Around Your Neck – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  6. I read 11 essays in August on the topic of Gender for the Summer School I’m taking at the Radboud University in Nijmegen.
  7. Swing Time – Zadie Smith
  8. Edit: before the end of the year but after this post was published I also read Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

I was aiming for level Yellow, which means I wanted to read between 13 and 20 LGBTQIA books. As you can see, I never got that far. I read eight, which means I made it to level orange. Furthermore, part of the challenge was to write a review for each book, so I’m doing that now and making it into a game. There is only one rule: each review must be exactly ten words long. Here goes nothing. Continue reading

Feminism Reading Challenge

This year I participated in the Feminism Reading Challenge, organized by Femividual, who has since taken her blog offline. The idea was to read as many books as possible from her list of feminist titles, as well as any other books that deal with feminist themes or topics.

2016femreadingchallenge.jpg

My favorite feminist book of the year, perhaps my favorite book of the year full stop, was Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I know few novels that are simultaneously as rich and as light as this one.

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Music, Concerts and Theatre of 2016

I saw 17 live performances this year. Two of them were musicals, two were theatre and the other 13 were concerts. My favorite concert this year was Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes. It absolutely rocked.

 

No overview of my musical journey of 2016 would be complete without an honorable mention to Lin-Manuel Miranda, who completely changed my life with Hamilton: An American Musical.

David Bowie’s last album, Blackstar, came out this year. I haven’t been able to listen to it yet. I’m really eager to listen to Beyonce’s Lemonade, as I know it caused quite a stir. Unfortunately for Beyonce, I’ve been way too busy fangirling over Kevin Rowland.

My favorite album of the year with absolutely no competition is The Dexy’s newest: Let The Record Show: Dexys Do Irish And Country Soul. It’s incredibly beautiful. I have no words.

My live shows of 2016

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Films of 2016

This year, I saw 38 films. You can view the complete list below. I saw most of them in cinema, and only three of the movies I saw were re-watches. Some other exciting stuff happened in movie-land: Leonardo DiCaprio finally got himself an Oscar and Pete Docter’s latest work of genius, Inside Out, also won one.

My favorite films of the year (in no particular order) are:

  1. Joy
  2. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
  3. Love & Friendship
  4. Finding Dory
  5. Captain Fantastic
  6. About Ray
  7. La La Land

There’s a number of films that I’m still very excited to see:

  1. Moana (Lin-Manuel Miranda knows the melody to my heart)
  2. La La Land (Ryan Gosling dances to the beat of my heart) Edit: I have since seen this film. It was great.)
  3. Hail Caesar (I’ll stop with the cheesy heart-metaphors now)
  4. Nice Guys
  5. Arrival

Just for fun, let me show you the trailer to La La Land. Get hyped with me.

 

Full list of films I saw in 2016: (the year’s not over yet so I might still add some titles._

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Most Popular Blog Posts Of The Year

At the risk of being self-aggrandizing, I wanted to show you all which blog posts did well this year as well as some statistics on who read my blog and where they came from. It interests me, and this is my blog, so you’re just going to have to deal with that.

Let’s start with some stats.

In 2016, my blog was viewed an incredible 3,784 times so far, by 2,385 different visitors.

2,331 of those visitors were from the Netherlands,  584 from the US and 294 from the UK. One person in Sri Lanka, one in Uganda and one in Estonia viewed my blog, to name but a few.

The most read blog posts are:

How I Recovered From Depression, with 397 views,

Why I Hated “Me Before You” And What You Should Read Instead, with 205 views

What A Flat Tire Taught Me About Intersectionality, with 194 views

Most remarkably, someone used the search bar on my blog to ask: “Why is Toby Ziegler cynical?” It’s a good question, and I might even devote a blog post to it in the future. Someone else searched for “Toby Ziegler love interest.” I didn’t know y’all were so fond of Toby, but I have no problem devoting more of my blog to him.

toby gif

 

Sinterklaas

If you were looking for an elaborate takedown of Zwarte Piet and its racist connotations, this isn’t it. I celebrated Sinterklaas with my family this weekend and I wanted to voice how much I love the presents I got. Of course, there’s a lot wrong with Zwarte Piet, but that’s a story for another blogpost. Today, let me just show off my awesome new stuff!

One chocolate letter J, milk chocolate

It’s a Sinterklaas tradition that children get the first letter of their name rendered in chocolate. It’s also very tasty. I remember, when I was young, that me and my friends were concerned: did some letters consist of more chocolate than others? Were you better of being named Wilhelmina than Juliana, simply because the “W” is a bigger letter? It turns out that the answer to this question is no. They just make the “J” extra thick.

The Hour season one and two on DVD
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TV of 2016

December will be a month of looking back. I love revisiting the highlights of the year every December, and this year, for the first time, I have a blog to do it. So today I give you an overview of my favorite TV of 2016.

This Is Us

I’ve written about This Is Us before, and told you how much I loved it. Although I’m a few episodes behind at this point, I still do. Seeing Milo Ventimiglia in the Gilmore Girls Revival only made me more eager to see him be a wonderful Dad in This Is Us. It is the kind of feelgood show I look forward to watching over Christmas break. On top of its loveable characters and excellent plot lines, This Is Us has a wonderfully diverse cast which includes people with obesity being portrayed as actual people. This is great.

Gilmore Girls Revival

I realize now that I have yet to post my detailed analysis of the revival, and I will very soon. Suffice it to say that it was amongst the highlights of my year.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

This show, guys. This is such a great show. Do you want laughter, romance, music, dance and feminism, all tightly packed together in a wonderful show starring Rachel Bloom? Then Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is for you. I loved it so much that I’m currently rewatching it with my brother, who also happens to love it. I love it so much I listen to the soundtrack in my spare time. I love it so much I’ve lost the ability to logically explain why I love it, because my love is self-evident to me. I love it so, so much. Continue reading