Links for May 8, 2016

The ‘scandalous’ women of the 90s can teach us a lesson

The media frenzies that once surrounded Marcia Clark and Monica Lewinsky and Tonya Harding and Anita Hill—and countless other women we have yet to reexamine—all have a pleasant sheen of ‘90s nostalgia about them. (Who would have imagined that the words “Hard Copy” could conjure not disgust, but wistfulness?) Yet their most meaningful lessons remain timeless, as do their most enduring questions—chief among them the mystery of why we are so able, so often, not just to happily watch the story of an abused and marginalized woman unfold in real time, but to see her powerlessness as wicked, shameless strength.


Stephen Fry's objections to trigger warnings aren't acceptable - but they are understandable

All of this is the modus operandi of many institutions of privilege - including British boarding schools, several of which Fry went through in his youth. Researching a piece for the New York Times in 2014, I learned that the British boarding school system is an ancient, terrible and precise machine designed, over a number of centuries, to take little boys and systematically traumatise them until they are capable of running an empire. It enacts ritual bullying in order to create well-mannered monsters: men whose capacity for empathy has been hammered flat as a cricket pitch in summer. Those who, like Fry and many, many others, are too sensitive, too queer, or too obstinate to endure the system, still come away with the principle that you do not speak about the terrible things that happened to you and to others, things you were powerless to prevent. And you definitely don’t indulge in self-pity.


This Is Fine creator explains the timelessness of his meme

Is it possible “This Is Fine” has endured, because it’s like our generation’s “Hang in there” poster?

[Laughs] Yeah, it has a similar feeling, like just hang in there, we’re almost to Friday.

Maybe that’s why the two panels are popular. There’s still hope.

That’s what I’ve wondered. He doesn’t melt — and it is kind of grotesque at the end. It’s easier to sell the first two than the entire panel where the dog melts into nothingness.