blackface and brownface in pop ‘princesses’

Cult Plastic gives a run-down and some of us (namely me) discover that Ariana Grande is not actually Latinx, with an excellent discussion on how appropriating blackness is used to widen the appeal of white pop stars (h/t @rrpivet).

Blackface and pop princesses: a brief genealogy by Anh Vo at Cult Plastic.

when cartoon characters are attractive

I especially found it interesting that the contributor’s friend is an acclaimed musician (Will Wiesenfeld, Baths) but HuffPo seemed more interested in their personal connection because of a possible hot/unusual take in regards to what we can find ‘attractive’?

Read more: A Conversation With My Friend Who Really Wants To Have Sex With Mr. Incredible – Maxwell Strachan for Huffington Post.

The amazing psychology of Japanese train stations

After the Freeplay 2018 festival and conference this last weekend, it was interesting to read about how the public and individuals think of and use space/s, and interestingly, Japan engages with its transit system’s uses and related spaces very differently to that of Australia, and perhaps other Asian countries and cities. Fascinating stuff! People collecting stamps that are unique to each train station for the mere joy and fun of it?! And stations having distinct ‘boarding’ melodies, of seven-second duration!

Read more (please note that this does discuss suicide and methods of execution) – Citylab – the amazing psychology of Japanese train stations

diversity in media: all talk, no action?

This might be something we picked up from academia, the idea that discussing an issue is somehow on par with solving it, or at least beginning the process. A panel on diversity is like a panel on world peace.

  • Man Booker Prize author Marlon James on diversity

Read more, in relation specifically to diversity panels and the Sydney Writers’ Festival: diversity in media: all talk, no action? by Virat Nehru

Who Is Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ Really For?

Some incisive commentary on Childish Gambino, aka. Donald Glover’s audience, narratives and perceptions from the viewpoint of a black disabled femme writer, Jazmine Joyner, with a bold opening statement:

Childish Gambino truly made a video for the white voyeurs of black death.

Keen to see further commentary and analysis about how other black creatives are producing similar work (e.g. Janelle Monáe in ‘PYNK’, Beyoncé in ‘Formation’), and how (or why) media chooses who to examine in detail.

Source: Who Is Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ Really For – Wear Your Voice mag

‘Ms. Marvel’ superhero will make it to the big screen

Pakistani-American teen Kamala Khan, the main character in G. Willow Wilson’s comic serial Ms. Marvel will mean a Muslim superhero on the big screen – I so wished she existed when I was a (note: raised Roman Catholic) teen! In the meantime, there’s eight volumes of collected trade paperbacks to get stuck into while waiting impatiently…

Marvel plans to bring first Muslim superhero to the big screen – Sydney Morning Herald