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Friday News: Net Neutrality vote, Scarlett Johansson sues over French novel,...

FCC Advances Controversial Proposal on Net Neutrality – The FCC voted 3 to 2 to move forward with its current proposal (a link to which can be found in the article). Among the proposal’s elements is the potential for so-called “Internet fast lanes,” which net neutrality proponents have been fighting against.

An earlier Mashable post includes a neat little video that gives the basics of net neutrality in about a minute. You can access it here.

The proposal also asks for public comment on a second, more dramatic option — reclassifying broadband service as a public utility, making it eligible for stricter regulation including a ban on pay-for-preference deals. That move would please net neutrality advocates. –Mashable

Scarlett Johansson sues author of novel that ‘stole her image’ – This is a pretty interesting situation. Scarlett Johansson is suing French author Grégoire Delacourt and his publisher JC Lattés over their novel, La Première Chose qu’On Regarde (The First Thing We Look At), which features a woman who suffers in life because she resembles Johansson. It presents an interesting dilemma, because the book is not ostensibly about Johansson, but it does invoke her. She’s suing for €50,000 (£41,000 or $68,585) in damages for “fraudulent” use of her name and image, as well as defamation.

“We have never known anything like it. It is all the more surprising for the fact that the novel is not even about Scarlett Johansson.

“It is about a woman who is Scarlet Johansson’s double. This writ seems crazy to us.”

Mr Delacourt is one of France’s most successful modern writers. His previous novel, My List of Desires, sold 450,000 copies, was translated into 47 languages and is to be adapted as a film in France. –The Telegraph

Chipotle Cups Will Now Feature Stories by Jonathan Safran Foer, Toni Morrison, and Other Authors – Crass commercialism or clever catalyst of cultural literacy? Either way (or both ways), this is a pretty interesting idea. As of yesterday, bags and cups from Chipotle will host original stories from a handful of authors, all chosen by Jonathan Safran Foer and unedited by Chipotle executives. You can read a sample in the Vanity Fair story.

Jonathan Safran Foer was sitting at a Chipotle one day, when he realized that he had nothing to do while noshing on his burrito. He had neglected to bring a book or magazine, and he didn’t yet own a smartphone. “I really just wanted to die with frustration,” Foer told VF Daily.

Suddenly, the Eating Animals author (and vegetarian) had an idea: What if there were something truly good to read on his Chipotle cup? Or the bag? –Vanity Fair

Cultural Studies: Here, let me explain mansplaining (and Rebecca Solnit) to you – A fantastic article about mansplaining, and more specifically, about Rebecca Solnit’s book on the subject. Solnit, who has actually had men explaining her own work to her, has written a book of essays, Men Explain Things To Me, not just about the act of mansplaining, but about the power issues that such explanations reflect, and the very real effect these imbalances have on women.

In stark terms, when men explain things — assuming they already know what’s going on and refusing to listen — a woman’s chance of survival goes down. This is pure statistics, as Solnit shows throughout the book: approximately 1,000 women are murdered by their partner or spouse (or former partners) every year — “meaning that every three years the death toll tops 9/11’s casualties,” . . .  –National Post

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. luchi
    May 16, 2014 @ 04:34:44

    I don’t get it, that lawsuit seems pretty dumb to me. Invoking a famous person’s image is pretty common in fiction.

  2. SAO
    May 16, 2014 @ 06:26:36

    I wish it were easier to buy excellent essays. Instead, they just seem to be turned into too-long books. The Long Tail was a book that had been an excellent essay.

    I could probably get my husband to read an essay, but handing him a book? Forget it.

  3. Alexandra
    May 16, 2014 @ 13:28:31

    I’m really happy to see the FCC vote on net neutrality in your post on today’s publishing news. As one of the Mashable articles you linked to stated:

    “Few words strike fear into the hearts of Internet advocates and boredom into the the minds of the general public like the phrase “net neutrality.” It ranks up there with “campaign finance reform”: huge importance, incredibly dull nomenclature.”

    The first thing that comes to my mind is that if a proposal allowing ISPs to accept payment for better service does pass couldn’t that create antitrust problems down the road? This is the type of thing that worries me, that makes me feel like I should be…doing something?…but I don’t know how. The Internet is a wonderful, sometimes scary place, and it would not be the same without the readily accessible content from blogs and sites like DearAuthor.

    I also enjoyed the piece on Rebecca Solnit’s book about mansplaining – some of the comments there are thought-provoking, too – you just have to sort through those arguing like their personal conduct has been called out or something.

  4. Janine
    May 16, 2014 @ 13:28:44

    Great little video about net neutrality.

    I might be tempted to go to Chipotle just to read those cups.

  5. JJPP
    May 16, 2014 @ 13:43:05

    @Alexandra: The FCC is accepting comments on its Net Neutrality decision, and Gizmodo tells you how you can leave one.

  6. Susan
    May 16, 2014 @ 13:43:43

    Thanks for the link to the piece about Solnit. An interesting read (well, until I made the mistake of looking at the comments). Men Explain Things to Me has gone on my wish list.

  7. azteclady
    May 16, 2014 @ 14:38:55

    I am appalled by how many people who use the internet constantly can be bothered to take any action about net neutrality. Haven’t we seen–aren’t we seeing right now?–what happens when the internet is controlled by a government/corporation? Look East, people.

  8. azteclady
    May 16, 2014 @ 14:39:24

    @azteclady: Ugh, that was “can’t be bothered” — I need sleep.

  9. hm
    May 16, 2014 @ 18:22:17

    The article on Solnit was well written, only problem is the National Post is Canada’s mild version of right wing paper. Very heavy bias towards businesses and the very well off. I typically don’t read the comments on that site cause they usually make me blow a gasket.

  10. Lori
    May 16, 2014 @ 18:31:59

    The Solnit article was fascinating but the comments made my eyes bleed.

  11. Sunita
    May 16, 2014 @ 22:52:59

    Of all the explanations of the net neutrality issues, my favorite was by a Stanford Law professor I heard on Marketplace yesterday. She compared fast-lane pricing to charging an air-conditioner manufacturer higher taxes on the product because people used aircon more in the summer.

    My fear is that the Netflix pay-for-premium-bandwith model will take hold and then the IPs will charge consumers according to usage rather than the almost flat fees most people pay now. That will let them charge for high usage twice: at the point of entry and the point of consumption.

  12. Charming Euphemism
    May 17, 2014 @ 13:06:35

    This, in the article, is wrong:

    “Mansplaining, the phenomenon typified by an older male obtusely telling a younger female how things are, was most famously identified by Rebecca Solnit.”

    Mansplaining is when a man explains a woman’s *own area of expertise* to her. It has nothing to do with age or explaining things in general.

  13. Nancy
    May 17, 2014 @ 15:18:05

    @Charming Euphemism: I don’t see the definition as wrong, I just think it’s glib for the sake of emphasis. I think the “typified” was used to indicate that mansplaining often occurs (and originated) as an older man talking down to a younger woman, as opposed to exclusively involving age. As the article discusses, anyone can mansplain to anyone. I also read the “how things are” as “how the world works” in relation to a woman’s academic or trade knowledge and her lived experiences. It’s an expansive phrase used to emphasize the ridiculousness of mansplaining. I think the definition offered is better addressed in the body of the article, where it gets more into the nuances of mansplaining.

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