Hey! It's Valentine's Day! That means the chocolate is on sale tomorrow (woo!), there's lot of people wearing red today (which, woo, because I like red), and there's glancing coverage of romance. I said this earlier in the collection of links on Wednesday, and had it made into graphic form just for fun:
Happy Valentine's Day to us!
Theresa Romain gave me the heads up that yet again, you can create your own conversation hearts.
Ha. Try and get any work done today! Just try!
I made you some. A few valentines, from me to you!
If you make your own, please share, either in the comments, or email them to me and I'll put them in the comments for you.
Need additional Valentines? NPR has some for you! I'm rather fond of the Carl Kasell one, myself.
If you like history, here's a link that will make you VERY happy: the Museum of the City of New York has digitized over 135,000 images from its archives, and made them available online.
There are theatre shots, architechture, celebrities, and more – it's all fascinating. And it'll probably cost you an hour of productivity but if it's research it TOTALLY counts, right?
Thanks to Ed Champion's Twitter feed for the link.
Here's a neat and fascinating article examining romances: Sarah Skwire takes a look at entrepreneurship and economics in historical romances in Economics With Romance.
I have found that historical romance novels are most interested in thinking seriously about work. Romance novels set in contemporary society tend to see work as merely a part of the background. Of course the hero and heroine have jobs. Everyone does. Often, while the work is the excuse for bringing the hero and heroine into initial contact with each other, writers don’t explore their characters' feelings about work particularly deeply, nor do they show the hero or heroine actively working.
But when set into historical context, writing about work can lead to debates over gender roles (“You get to have an interesting job and I have to learn to embroider? How is that fair?” or “Do you really expect that I’ll give up working when we get married?”), or about the mixed blessing of aristocratic privilege (“My father gambled away the family fortune, so I must work, but I have no skills!” or “I’d really like to be a writer/scientist/architect, but it is simply not done by people of my class.”), or about class and opportunity (“Yes, I stole your wallet, but I was fired from my job as a governess for ‘tempting’ the master of the house, and isn’t it better to steal than to be a prostitute?”). In other words, because of the deep conflicts over work throughout history, work in a historical romance novel can be a source of conflict between the hero and heroine. And romance novels thrive on conflict that keeps the lovers deliciously apart until they find a way to reach a happy ending.
The whole article is a fascinating and unique perspective on the role of employment in the pursuit of self-actualization in romances.
And finally, RedHeadedGirl, Elyse, Carrie, Amanda and I collaborated on a list for BuzzFeed that had plenty of room for snark but wasn't quite about romance novels: The 7 Worst Moments In NBC's 2014 Olympic Coverage… So Far.
I've been watching the Olympics somewhat sparingly, because each time I turn in, the sexism and condescension of the announcers bugs me more and more. I love winter sports in general, especially snowboarding and skiing, but as many people have noticed, the coverage is particularly shitful this year.
So we rounded up the coverage and identified the standings for this year's Sexism and Condescension Competition. That battle is fierce. And I suspect we haven't yet seen the performance that will win the gold.