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A memoir by acclaimed educator and leader Gwendolyn Calvert Baker exploring her life and work
This book examines the popular and critically acclaimed films of Pixar Animation Studios in their cultural and historical context. Whether interventionist sheriff dolls liberating oppressed toys (Toy Story) or exceptionally talented rodents hoping to fulfill their dreams (Ratatouille), these cinematic texts draw on popular myths and symbols of American culture. As Pixar films refashion traditional American figures, motifs and narratives for contemporary audiences, this book looks at their politics - from the frontier myth in light of traditional gender roles (WALL-E) to the notion of voluntary associations and neoliberalism (The Incredibles). Through close readings, this volume considers the aesthetics of digital animation, including voice-acting and the simulation of camera work, as further mediations of the traditional themes and motifs of American culture in novel form. Dietmar Meinel explores the ways in which Pixar films come to reanimate and remediate prominent myths and symbols of American culture in all their cinematic, ideological and narrative complexity.
From the outrageously filthy and oddly innocent comedienne and star of the powerful 2015 film I Smile Back Sarah Silverman comes a memoir—her first book—that is at once shockingly personal, surprisingly poignant, and still pee-in-your-pants funny. If you like Sarah’s television show The Sarah Silverman Program, or memoirs such as Chelsea Handler’s Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea and Artie Lange’s Too Fat to Fish, you’ll love The Bedwetter.
"They've said some crazy things about me over the years. I mean, okay: 'He bit the head off a bat.' Yes. 'He bit the head off a dove.' Yes. But then you hear things like, 'Ozzy went to the show last night, but he wouldn't perform until he'd killed fifteen puppies . . .' Now me, kill fifteen puppies? I love puppies. I've got eighteen of the f**king things at home. I've killed a few cows in my time, mind you. And the chickens. I shot the chickens in my house that night. It haunts me, all this crazy stuff. Every day of my life has been an event. I took lethal combinations of booze and drugs for thirty f**king years. I survived a direct hit by a plane, suicidal overdoses, STDs. I've been accused of attempted murder. Then I almost died while riding over a bump on a quad bike at f**king two miles per hour. People ask me how come I'm still alive, and I don't know what to say. When I was growing up, if you'd have put me up against a wall with the other kids from my street and asked me which one of us was gonna make it to the age of sixty, which one of us would end up with five kids and four grandkids and houses in Buckinghamshire and Beverly Hills, I wouldn't have put money on me, no f**king way. But here I am: ready to tell my story, in my own words, for the first time. A lot of it ain't gonna be pretty. I've done some bad things in my time. I've always been drawn to the dark side, me. But I ain't the devil. I'm just John Osbourne: a working-class kid from Aston, who quit his job in the factory and went looking for a good time."
Prior to the civil rights movement, comedians performed for audiences that were clearly delineated by race. Black comedians performed for black audiences and white comedians performed for whites. Yet during the past forty-five years, black comics have become progressively more central to mainstream culture. In Laughing Mad, Bambi Haggins looks at how this transition occurred in a variety of media and shows how this integration has paved the way for black comedians and their audiences to affect each other. Historically, African American performers have been able to use comedy as a pedagogic tool, interjecting astute observations about race relations while the audience is laughing. And yet, Haggins makes the convincing argument that the potential of African American comedy remains fundamentally unfulfilled as the performance of blackness continues to be made culturally digestible for mass consumption. Rather than presenting biographies of individual performers, Haggins focuses on the ways in which the comic persona is constructed and changes across media, from stand-up, to the small screen, to film. She examines the comic televisual and cinematic personae of Dick Gregory, Bill Cosby, Flip Wilson, and Richard Pryor and considers how these figures set the stage for black comedy in the next four decades. She reads Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock as emblematic of the first and second waves of postcivil rights era African American comedy, and she looks at the socio-cultural politics of Whoopi Goldbergs comic persona through the lens of gender and crossover. Laughing Mad also explores how the comedy of Dave Chappelle speaks to and for the post-soul generation. A rigorous analytic analysis, this book interrogates notions of identity, within both the African American community and mainstream popular culture. Written in engaging and accessible prose, it is also a book that will travel from the seminar room, to the barbershop, to the kitchen table, allowing readers to experience the sketches, stand-up, and film comedies with all the laughter they deserve.
Turning Scars to Stars by Mary Morales Kirpes As a parent of two autistic sons and as a teacher of special needs children, Mary Morales Kirpes was prompted to share her story. Her hope is to let other families know they are not alone in their struggles, and they can often turn a negative into a positive. Turning Scars to Stars is a lighthearted and upbeat documentation of her experiences with neurological disabilities.
Isabelle Scott and Mirabelle Monroe are still reeling from the revelation that they share more than just the roof over their heads. The media has pounced on their story and the girls are caught up in a flurry of talk-show appearances and newspaper interviews. They've put on a happy public face, but someone is leaking their true feelings to the press, and while it seems like the world is watching their every move, at least they have each other. But with cotillion season right around the corner, Izzie and Mira have barely had time to process their newfound sisterhood. Mira has dreamed of making her debut in a gorgeous white gown forever-now, if only she could find an escort. Izzie, meanwhile, is still struggling to find her place in Emerald Cove and it's seeming ever more impossible with EC mean-girls, young and old, doing their best to keep her down. As cotillion preparations heat up, though, there are dance steps to learn, manners to perfect... and secret initiations to complete? As if sophomore year wasn't hard enough! In book two of the Belles trilogy, it's time for the gowns to go on and the gloves to come off.

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