It’s Our Birthday!

This blog has officially been in existence for one year, since we published our intro post on August 28, 2015. It’s been a fun year for Adversion. Every week we get together at a local cafe and work on our posts and argue about Gilmore Girls. And we’ve published some things we’re really proud of, from fanwanky TV recaps to “short” posts on whatever we’re reading that week (that often turn into essay-length screeds).

Here are the top ten most popular posts we’ve published in our first year:

Continue reading →

Braindead 1×09: “Taking on Water: How Leaks in D.C. Are Discovered and Patched “


Previously on Braindead: This week’s previouslies are purportedly sung by Jonathan Coulton’s ghost after he was attacked by spacebugs and his head exploded. I hope this doesn’t mean that he won’t be singing the previouslies anymore! (Unless he’s handing off singing duties to Aaron Tveit, in which case: so long, Jonathan.) So yeah, anyway, Rochelle and Gustav tied up Bug-Man Kevin and followed him to a secret room, and then there was a whole thing where fake Syrian witnesses were used to try to convince Senators to vote for war. And re: Ella and Wheatus, Jonathan Coulton’s ghost agrees with us that “The way they get it on is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.”

Continue reading →

Links We Loved This Week — 8/26/16

The LA Review of Books tackles why the new Bourne movie was so unsatisfying. No one cares about your daddy issues, Jason.

Sure, we’re all thrilled to death about the Gilmore Girls revival—but don’t forget that other bookish heroine, Anne of Green Gables, who falls in love with a boy only after long years of vying with him for the top of the class. She too is being revived—and Netflix has just partnered up with the reboot, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The part of the internet that we read is clamoring with support for Leslie Jones, who has been the victim of incredibly frightening racist harassment. Here is one piece on the topic worth reading, from The Establishment. We don’t usually address celebrities directly because, let’s face it, we’re way too small for them to care, but: Our hearts are with you, Leslie!

The University of Chicago has taken a stand in the culture wars that kicked off on campuses last year. While one sentence is never going to capture all the nuance in this issue, we at Adversion can definitely agree with a call for college students to be challenged and made uncomfortable by literature.

Aldous Huxley sent his former student George Orwell a letter that basically amounts to one extended neg. Open Culture describes it as “My Hellish Vision of the Future Is Better Than Yours (1949).” (DISAGREE, Huxley!) [Keets: the scoreboard is definitely on Huxley’s side, though…]

The Times Literary Supplement takes a look at some recent books on Byron–from the vindication of Lady Byron to the burning of his memoirs. Interestingly, Byron’s daughter Ada “is widely celebrated as having anticipated computer coding by over a century.”


…a gulf had opened between them over which they looked at each other with eyes that were on either side a declaration of the deception suffered. It was a strange opposition, of the like of which she had never dreamed–an opposition in which the vital principle of the one was a thing of contempt to the other. It was not her fault–she had practised no deception; she had only admired and believed. She had taken all the first steps in the purest confidence, and then she had suddenly found the infinite vista of a multiplied life to be a dark, narrow alley with a dead wall at the end. Instead of leading to the high places of happiness, from which the world would seem to lie below one, so that one could look down with a sense of exaltation and advantage, and judge and choose and pity, it led rather downward and earthward, into realms of restriction and depression where the sound of other lives, easier and freer, was heard as from above, and where it served to deepen the feeling of failure.

–Henry James, Portrait of a Lady

An Aspiring Writer

If at thirteen you can write ten good lines, at twenty you’ll write ten times ten–if the gods are kind. Stop messing over months, though–and don’t imagine you’re a genius either, if you have written ten decent lines. I think there’s something trying to speak through you–but you’ll have to make yourself a fit instrument for it. You’ve got to work hard and sacrifice–by gad, girl, you’ve chosen a jealous goddess. And she never lets her votaries go–even when she shuts her ears for ever to their plea.

–Lucy Maud Montgomery, Emily of New Moon

Braindead 1×08: “The Path to War Part One: The Gathering Political Storm”


Previously on Braindead: Head explosions, bioterrorist fears, political arguments, thrown pencils… you know, the usual. We end with a satirical spacebug commercial framed as a drug ad, complete with the sexual and anti-alcohol side effects. Oh, and Laurel’s dad, Dean Healy? is TOTALLY infected.

As has been happening frequently in the last few episodes, we open right on the last moment of the previous episode, with Luke welcoming Laurel back to the real world after her little brush with torture over at the FBI. In the waiting room outside Luke’s office Gustav’s phone, which can detect high-frequency transmissions from spacebugs, goes wild. He and Rochelle try to sneak up closer to Dean, and Scarlett says snottily, “You’re gonna need to find a way to silence that.” Seriously. For one thing, I think even people with half their brains missing are going to catch on to your little app if you don’t silence it.

Continue reading →

Links We Loved This Week — 8/19/16

Heather Havrilesky, who writes the fabulous “Ask Polly” columns at NYMag, interviews Winona Ryder and discusses the pathologization of female emotion.

Even if the phrase “fag hag” is so 1999, you won’t care while you’re reading this absurdist ranking of the Top 10 Fag Hags of Henry James. (via LA Review of Books)

As, it seems, always, McSweeney’s lit crit is killing it: Quiz: Are you an unlikable female narrator?

Idiocracy director tells The Daily Beast why his movie has become a documentary.

Freud has a field day as the “subtle” metaphors of the James Bond credits are revealed (via Slashfilm).


“It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living. Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing. That is why the sadness passes: the new presence inside us, the presence that has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and is no longer even there, is already in our bloodstream. And we don’t know what it was. We could easily be made to believe that nothing happened, and yet we have changed, as a house that a guest has entered changes.

We can’t say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens.

And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of time when it happens to us as if from outside.” – Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Learning in the mango trees

I found a mango tree by the school. I climbed it and from a comfortable position in the branches, I could hear the lessons and see the blackboard. The teacher saw me and he began to open the classroom window completely so that I could properly see…

I did that for an entire month, reciting everything that I heard, over and over, and practicing writing the alphabet on the ground. One morning, the teacher was waiting for me under the mango tree, and he held my hand, and he took me into the classroom. Those were the days, indeed, when we had decent people in a decent environment and they could do such things.

–Ishmael Beah, Radiance of Tomorrow

UnREAL 2×02 “Insurgent”: Who Wins the Battle of Oppressions This Week?

A friend of mine was on the New York City subway late at night, and a man came up to her, got right in her face, and said, “You’re one of those white girls with an ass and titties. They wouldn’t even want to sell you, but I would want to buy you.”

Then, he turned to two young black women sitting nearby, and said, “They would sell you. But I wouldn’t buy you.”

This was an incredibly scary experience for my friend, but I’ll give this guy credit for one thing: it was one of the most succinct explanations for intersectional oppression I’ve ever heard.

And it perfectly explicates the themes of UnREAL, which has taken it upon itself to explore the connections/oppositions between white supremacy and the Men’s Rights Movement, between white feminism and the Black Lives Matter movement. I feel like if a drunk guy from the New York City subway wandered onto the set of Everlasting, this is what he would say to the contestants.
Continue reading →