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Monday Clicks: Trained Monkeys, Sylvia Plath as Chick Lit, “Racist” Kodak Film

Link bait for the Monday-challenged.

By Anne Ishii

We at The Margins sometimes get ahead of ourselves in the long-form paragraph, when perhaps all you need is a bunch of links to anecdotal information. We are in the middle of winter and it is a Monday, after all. Here are some uplifting, tradge, or otherwise funny-at-the-expense-of-others links from the year so far  the last two weeks.

+ Those crazy Japanese have trained monkeys to serve edamame and beer to izakaya patrons. (Maybe they can be trained to build Dreamliner batteries…)

+ Sylvia Plath’s soliloquy on depression and the female condition, The Bell Jar, ultimately led to coining an eponymous phrase referring to such blight. That book has been redesigned as chick lit for the cupcake set.

+ An exhibition is taking place in Johannesburg, which takes a look at racist camera-film technology developed by Kodak. Here’s a bit from the news release:

Broomberg and Chanarin say their work, on show at Johannesburg’s Goodman Gallery, examines “the radical notion that prejudice might be inherent in the medium of photography itself”. They argue that early colour film was predicated on white skin: in 1977, when Jean-Luc Godard was invited on an assignment to Mozambique, he refused to use Kodak film on the grounds that the stock was inherently “racist”.

The light range was so narrow, Broomberg said, that “if you exposed film for a white kid, the black kid sitting next to him would be rendered invisible except for the whites of his eyes and teeth”. It was only when Kodak’s two biggest clients – the confectionary and furniture industries – complained that dark chocolate and dark furniture were losing out that it came up with a solution.

+ Jabba the Hutt’s Lego Palace looks too much like the Hagia Sophia for comfort.