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Gruenes Ei mit Speck

June 28th, 2018 — 6:19pm

Here’s a 5-minute recording of a children’s picture book in German. Can you guess what it is? I think you’ll recognize it by the time you get all the way to the end even if you don’t speak a word of German :)

No googling, now!

Gruenes Ei mit Speck

I have also created a page just for my recordings of picture books.

The pictures are half the fun, so please try to buy or borrow copies of these books so that you can look at the pictures while I read to you. :)

1 comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Women on TV in 2018

June 24th, 2018 — 8:23pm

I’ve been re-watching season 1 of The Bridge with Henry, and it struck me suddenly how many women there are on TV now, and in The Bridge especially, and how different that is from when I was a kid. I asked Henry if he remembers when Prime Time TV shows only allowed women to play 4 main roles: wife, girlfriend, prostitute, or victim, but he doesn’t. Thank goodness.

In The Bridge, we have Saga Noren, our beloved peculiar detective protagonist. Brilliant, strange, annoying, determined, confident, awkward. And here’s the thing: it’s not a big deal that she’s a woman. Remember Prime Suspect from the early 90s? DCI Jane Tennyson suffered no end of sexism and bullying for daring to be a woman doing a man’s job.

In Saga’s police department there are TONS of women doing all kinds of jobs, not just serving tea and filing papers. They’re not hot 22-yr-old blondes, either. Older women and younger women, slim and stout. (In the 4th season we have a middle-aged female IT expert!) There are female BOSSES and it’s not even remarked on. (Lillian, oh how I love Lillian and her skillful policework and people-managing, her trademark fluffy green scarf, and her kickass no-fuss haircut).

Women in The Bridge are running companies, committing crimes, tracing IP addresses, writing newspaper columns, and catching criminals. They’re not all pleasant people, which is as it should be; they are interestingly three-dimensional, thanks to the truly excellent writing on this show; and most importantly they’re THERE, in the foreground and background of every scene.

Thinking back on the TV of my childhood… Well there was I Love Lucy, of course! And The Dick Van Dyke Show had Laura and Sally. Edit: Cousin Jerry reminded me about Mary Tyler Moore! Yes!

Other than that… no important female characters at all on The Rockford Files. None on Hawaii Five-0. One main female character to about eight main male characters on M*A*S*H. None on The A-Team. None on Simon & Simon. None on Miami Vice.

We had Uhura and sometimes Nurse Chapel on Star Trek. Most of the time they opened hailing frequencies and pined for Mr. Spock (don’t we all), but SOMETIMES they Did Things and it could have been much worse, so props to Star Trek for acknowledging the existence of women.

How many male Looney Toons characters were there? Bugs Bunny, Daffy, Elmer, Porky, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester, Tweetie Pie, Pepe le Pew, the Coyote, the Roadrunner, Foghorn Leghorn, Bill and Sam… how many female characters? Uh. The old lady who owned Tweetie Pie? The female skunk forever fleeing her stalker?

My niece, who just turned five, loves a cartoon called The Octonauts, which seems to have a pretty even ratio of male to female characters, and they all Do Things. She also enjoys My Little Pony (which is not as ghastly as it sounds). It has mostly female characters! She loves loves loves the movie Totoro, which stars two sisters. (side note: the dad in Totoro is beautifully portrayed. He’s not the detached, distant dad of olden times but takes excellent loving care of his little girls while their mom is in hospital.)

So. TV in 2018 has remarkably more gender equality than it did 40 years ago.

Last year I tried a Spanish crime drama on Netflix (can’t remember the name). It had men, men, men, men, men, and then BOOM a female murder victim. I got all annoyed and turned it off, but it made me realize that even shows that are not as fair as The Bridge must be better than they used to be, or an example in the old sexist style wouldn’t have annoyed me so much.

(Having gotten this off my chest I’ll go back to watching Claws. I just started it and the first episode was a hoot. It’s about a handful of nail salon employees who get sucked into organized crime and so far the characters are GREAT. Hope it continues as it started.)

5 comments » | Blog

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