Tuesday News: Romantic attraction, running, SFF & Mormonism, and Barbie appeals to boys
Why We Are Attracted to Deviant Personalities – Given the discussions we have in Romance about what makes a “good” or “healthy” relationship, this study is pretty interesting. At this point, though, it seems like there are many more qualifications and limitations than conclusions, especially given the potential failures in self-reporting, the number of subjects, and the myriad reasons people are attracted to each other and the circumstances under which relationships do and do not succeed. Still, some provocative tendencies, however valid they are (or are not) as actual findings:
The study results show both males and females who were pathologically reckless and impetuous attracted more short-term partners than participants with average personalities. And obsessive-compulsive males—but not females—were successful at securing long-lasting mates, an outcome strongly associated with this group’s high income (obsessive-compulsives made nearly twice as much as the less obsessive study participants), Gutiérrez says.
The study results also revealed that neurotic females were more likely to be in lasting relationships. The most neurotic female participants had 34 percent more long-term mates and 73 percent more children than average despite exhibiting a trait typically associated with instability, anxiousness and insecurity, he explains. – Scientific American
Why Writers Run – Another of the pieces I’ve been seeing more of lately in The Atlantic — namely a short, provocative essay that raises some interesting questions and issues but doesn’t really delve deep. Do writers love to run? I’ve lately noticed a lot of Romance heroes who love to run, often when they’re pissed at the heroine for something, but how solid is this stereotype about writers? And is it more about the sedentary work posture of the writer than about some kind of zen creativity?
Why do writers so often love to run? Running affords the freedom of distance, coupled with the literary appeal of solitude. There’s a meditative cadence to the union of measured breaths and metered strides. Writers and runners both operate on linear planes, and the running writer soon realizes the relationship between art and sport is a mutually beneficial one. The novelist Haruki Murakami, a former Tokyo jazz-bar manager who would smoke 60 cigarettes a day, started running to get healthy and lose weight. His third novel had just been published, but he felt his “real existence as a serious writer [began] on the day that I first went jogging.” Continual running gave him the certainty that he could “make it to the finishing line.” – The Atlantic
Sci-Fi Writer William Shunn: The Book of Mormon Is a Lot Like Lord of the Rings – I’ve been vacillating for two days about whether to post this story, but my curiosity won out. Curiosity about what other people (especially Mormons) think about Shunn’s figuration of Joseph Smith as an unintentional inspiration to Mormon SFF writers. His comments on how his parents discouraged him from writing Science Fiction, because it was “evil” are set against the relatively large Utah SFF writing community, centered at Brigham Young University.
“I consider Joseph Smith to be the ur-science fiction writer of Mormonism. He essentially invented a whole fantasy world in The Book of Mormon—at least that’s how I look at it. And in fact he was a fan fiction writer too, because The Book of Mormon is nothing if not Bible fan fiction. If you look at The Book of Mormon as his Lord of the Rings, the rest of his theology is kind of like The Silmarillion—he went back and filled in all the history and cosmology of the universe. … I look at The Book of Mormon as Joseph Smith’s first novel, and he commits the same sin that any writer does when they’re writing their first novel. He seems to be the main protagonist through the first part of the novel. … There are all kinds of interesting parallels between Joseph’s life and The Book of Mormon, and I really think that [Nephi] is the Mary Sue in that book.” – Wired
Boy Stars in New Barbie Commercial – The new trend toward gender neutrality in toys goes right to the wall with this new Moschino Barbie commercial (note also the racial diversity). Although there may be some other stereotyping going on here, re. boys and fashion, it’s still a big step forward. – The Advocate