Director: Scott Coffey
Writer: Andy Cochran
Bechdel Test: Pass
Oh look, a suburban privileged girl graduates with $90,000 in debt and dreams of being a famous poet. She can’t get a job anywhere, so she very begrudgingly settles for working at a porn store and the authenticity parade begins.
She runs away from home and stays with a squatter transgender prostitute (with a heart of gold! Imagine that! At least she doesn’t die. God what a low bar I’m working with for transgender representation). After awhile she moves into a place of her own. Her roommate is an impassioned-but-obviously-privileged Occupy rebel who says things like “the movement needs you, Amy” and frames the acceptance letter she gets of publication in Anarchist Quarterly.
Oh, and the concept of young women obsessed with self-harm is trivialized and played for laughs (I was not surprised when I discovered the movie was written by a man).
Continue reading Adult World (2013)
The Oregon Experiment
by Keith Scribner
Recommended? Sure, why not.
I’m going to cut this review into two parts. The first part, the shorter part, is just my “why you might like to read this book, why you might not.” The second part is a longer analysis of the ways in which mainstream sympathetic fiction is portraying anarchists.
So, The Oregon Experiment, by Keith Scribner. Scanlon and Naomi are a middle class couple that moves to small town Oregon, and soon their American dream crashes into the rocks of anarchists, secessionist hippies, and the repression thereof. Scanlon is an academic who studies radical social movements, Naomi is a depressed “nose” who was forced to retire from the perfume business when her mental health destroyed her ability to smell. Scanlon gets mixed up with Sequoia, a sexy hippie mama who wants to peacefully secede from the US, while Naomi spends too much time a Clay, a depressed, angsty anarchist who hates everything. Hijinks ensue.
It’s a short, entertaining novel with interesting enough characters. I read it, I enjoyed reading it, and it left me awake thinking after I’d put the book down for the night. While the plot focuses on the gulf between academia and radical action, the themes of the book are much more about parenting and relationships, which I appreciated quite a bit. I appreciated the often-realistic and incredibly flawed characters, though the intensity of male desire directed at mothers—on the basis of them being mothers—is kind of intense. Overall, the book made me nostalgic for early-aughts Oregon.
Continue reading The Oregon Experiment, by Keith Scribner