Racial panic has hardly abated since the recent presidential election. Apparently there is some right-wing fright over Jamie Foxx's comments about his new film "Django Unchained," in which -- as he gleefully commented during his recent "SNL" appearance (below) -- he kills "all the white people in the movie." Foxx was already on their radar for having jokingly referred to Barack Obama as "Our Lord and Savior" at BET's Soul Train Awards. I'm looking forward to the minor implosion that this movie will cause in popular discourse. It's got to be Quentin Tarantino's most controversial film since ... well, "Inglourious Basterds."
Taking a page from the Harlan Ellison playbook, sci-fi author John Scalzi has written a nice fat blog post explaining (rather harshly) why you should never ask a writer to work for free. He urges writers to hold up their end, too -- those who do agree to work for free only end up contributing to the perception that it's acceptable. Good advice for all would-be writers, even if most of us don't exactly have the leverage of a New York Times bestselling author.
Artist Julia Callon's exquisite dioramas have brought nineteenth-century fiction to life, in miniature. From Wuthering Heights to The Yellow Wallpaper, you can see what it might be like to inhabit these worlds (as if that was a safe or sane thing to wish for). You can see more of Callon's great, tiny works on her website.
As if in response to Alicia Keys' recent performance of the "Gummi Bear Adventures" theme song, this week Bruno Mars sang "A Whole New World" from Disney's "The Little Mermaid" at BBC's Live Lounge. Is this the new normal? Are Disney covers the new gold standard for pop stars eager to prove a little personality? I guess I've got no problem with it, but I'd have been far more impressed if he chose "Poor Unfortunate Souls" instead.