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August 4, 2011 - Posted by | Spoiler Alert Thursdays

17 Comments

  1. Busy week for Erik Skarsgard.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | August 4, 2011

  2. Did you know that it’s possible to reduce the size of the images, so they don’t block out the material on the sidebars?

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | August 4, 2011

  3. I became briefly entranced by “Extreme Couponing” on TLC. It’s about people (they all seem to be women) who are obsessed with couponing and manage to game the system in such a way that they will buy thousands of dollars worth of groceries but only end up paying like twenty dollars out of pocket. Of course, what they come home with is like seventy bottles of squeeze mayonnaise, two hundred vitamin waters, twelve sticks of deodorant and no fresh fruits or vegetables, but for some reason this is worth it to them. On one of the episodes, a woman said that she usually spends about forty to fifty hours a week dumpster diving for advertising circulars, clipping coupons, organizing her cash back and double coupon deals, and planning her grocery runs. It is unclear to me how this is better, economically, than working an equivalent number of hours at some sort of paying job, and then buying groceries like a regular person, but I understand that people find their joy in different ways.

    Comment by jms | August 4, 2011

  4. obsessions can’t be explained or erased unfortunately, sugary foods keep the obsessions a bit controlled they say, but too much protein fix them to last longer
    so what you eat you are etc
    i confess i also hate hyperwide pictures

    Comment by read | August 4, 2011

  5. Adam: in Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, the images do not bleed into the sidebar, at least for me.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | August 4, 2011

  6. i didn’t try safari, but all others display the pictures large for me, i remember i could save my pictures smaller size when i wanted them to not be very large or detailed before posting to fb, just regularly saving them, not using photoshop, had to choose lower pixel numbers, would become blurry perhaps which is perfect for anonymization purposes

    Comment by read | August 4, 2011

  7. Remember when TLC meant “The Learning Channel” and A&E meant “Arts & Entertainment”? Both are now more appropriately called “Freak Channel #1” and “Freak Channel #2.”

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | August 4, 2011

  8. It’s probably my fault — I don’t keep Firefox at full screen most of the time.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | August 4, 2011

  9. ooh, good customer service, nice
    now it looks really easy on the eyes, except the girl’s open mouth

    Comment by read | August 4, 2011

  10. i mean how one chooses what photos to post, it seems just so random pictures and not serving, like, a decipherable purpose
    or maybe for tv watchers all the pictures mean something obvious, some known actors, some joke, some pun, some catharsis, i don’t know

    Comment by read | August 4, 2011

  11. So here’s a thought on True Blood — I think it’s very difficult to deny Craig’s contention that it’s about animal rights, but I also think it’s implausible to claim it’s only about that. The gay rights angle is too obvious to ignore, and this article makes a good case that it can be productively interpreted in terms of class as well.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | August 8, 2011

  12. The gay rights angle seems too obvious an interpretation and, internal to the show, underplayed. As far as I can recall, the only incident of outright homophobia is when the three rednecks refuse to eat Lafayette’s HIV infused food. At which point Lafayette all but beats them up. Jesus and Lafayette’s relationship is completely unmarked. As is Tara’s and whatever-her-name-is. Indeed, for Tara, it is the only normal relationship she’s ever had. And Jesus and Lafayette’s relationship is also exceptionally normal for Bon Temps. How can it be about gay rights when the actual homosexuals are completely normal? The vampires must represent something else because they clearly do no represent homosexuals–notwithstanding the appropriation of “God Hates Fangs” and other sorts of slogans.

    Thanks for the link–my initial scan makes me think that the writer forces the point a bit much: most of the vampires are not wealthy. However, most of the vampires we know in the show are. Stephen Root was clearly not wealthy. The vampire Bill executed a few episodes ago was clearly not wealthy. The woman who burst into flames last night was clearly not wealthy. Jessica works as a waitress. And so on. But, in terms of wealth, the only wealthy people we encounter are supernaturals: Sam seems to have a shitload of money, as did Maryann. Alcide seems to be doing okay (although I believe he is living rent free, but weres on the whole do not appear to be especially wealthy, especially in Hot Shot). Bill, Eric, Godric, Russell, and Nan are all rich, this is true. Sophie-Anne was an impoverished late seventeenth/early eighteenth century noble.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | August 8, 2011

  13. And, of course, Russell and Talbot’s relationship is fairly normal.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | August 8, 2011

  14. How can you account for the religious hatred of vampires without assuming they stand for homosexuals, at least in part? The fact that literal homosexuality isn’t much remarked on is, in my view, evidence that the controversy over vampires is standing in for the real life controversy over homosexuals. And the sheer fact that vampires are so sexualized, etc., doesn’t make sense in terms of animal rights, does it? I don’t think there’s a big pro-bestiality backlash against animal rights discourse.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | August 8, 2011

  15. In general, it would be weird if a rich mythical figure like the vampire were being used to symbolize only one thing.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | August 8, 2011

  16. It doesn’t matter that some of the vampires on True Blood aren’t wealthy. There are such people as the petite bourgeoisie. And it seems to me that it would be more natural to read the show’s consumption in light of this, just as the struggle over animal rights comes down, in the end, to capitalism. A consumptive reading alone seems somewhat sterile.

    Examining in detail the various characters seems to bear this out as well. Jessica is a waitress, true, but as a newly-made vampire, she is now moving up the class ranks at a slow but sure pace. A recent episode emphasized the fact that she’s been promoted at work. And we can’t forget that, in a previous season, as soon as she was made, she started preying on truckers–the working class.

    The fact that it is other supernaturals who are also wealthy supports a class reading, too. What the show does is unveil the coercion that always underpins capitalism. I.e., sometimes it requires something akin to supernatural powers to actually make it in this country.

    Also, Sam is a landlord.

    Comment by Jared | August 14, 2011

  17. Also, Sam gained his wealth through naked theft.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | August 15, 2011


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