Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag. For more links and commentary you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr. You can also support us on Patreon.
1. The Logan Paul situation has been making me think a lot about YouTube and how it’s affected the youth, like Davey Alba at BuzzFeed. Specifically, how the phenomenon of the vlogger colors how kids interact with their media heroes, which exacerbates the parasocial issue that faces fandom. In the wake of Paul’s video, his fans—especially his young fans—are taking to YouTube to vlog about their reaction to it, because vlogging is how they’ve learned to process emotions. I’m honestly not sure what to make of it—my experience with YouTuber culture is limited to Blogilates and NikkieTutorials—but I found the discussion around it to be fascinating this week.
2. Also important in the wake of Paul’s video: Courtney Enlow on Twitter points out that media companies worshipping at the altar of the almighty algorithm means that all attention is valued the same now—positive or negative. Hence Bright and hence the Trump presidency.
3. Here are the twelve female-directed films coming out in 2018 and 2019.
4. The CW’s upcoming Black Lightning will bring black lesbian superhero Thunder to television. And her bi girlfriend, the half-Amazonian Grace Choi, will be played by Chantal Thuy.
5. Genevieve Valentine’s Red Carpet Rundowns for 2018 have begun, starting with the Golden Globes. We are truly blessed.
6. I really enjoyed Linda Holmes's interview of actor John Cho, from Pop Culture Happy Hour.
7. Also charming: this vintage interview with Mark Hamill from shortly after the release of The Empire Strikes Back, recently republished by Pornokitsch.
8. Autostraddle presents its annual round-up of lesbian and bisexual characters on TV and finds that, for once, they did "pretty OK". Also see Caroline Framke on the variety of coming out narratives for women of color on TV in 2017.
9. How the new movie about P.T. Barnum ignores the showman's violent racism, and the many reasons why that omission is not okay.
10. Marvel created a platform for people to create officially-sanctioned fan comics, and it went about as well as you might expect.
11. From about six months ago, here's a comprehensive look at the depiction of female superheroes in comics. None of the findings are all that surprising -- women are more likely to have psychic powers, while men's are more likely to be physical; "girl" is much more common in heroic aliases than "boy"; all-male teams are way more common than all-female, and token women are much more a thing than token men; etc. But it's still nice to see stark numbers for it all.
12. Five Thirty Eight talked to women in the media to come up with alternatives to the Bechdel-Wallace Test, then ran the top-grossing movies of 2016 through each of the 12 criteria. Spoiler alert: they didn't do so well.
13. That high pitched screaming noise you might have heard was probably me watching the Ocean's 8 trailer.
14. The more despairing screaming noise that you might have heard was me reading this post on how GoodReads distinguishes between authors with the same name. I can't remember if I found this from owlmoose or if I need to show it to her, but either way I need someone to confirm how accurate this is.
15. Ursula Vernon's Hugo Award acceptance speech is online now and it's delightful.