Martine Mussies

an Aspergirl's blog of random nerdiness

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Mermaids of Colour

When the Disney studios announced that they had cast Halle Bailey in the role of Ariel, aka The Little Mermaid, for their latest live-action remake, there was a wave of reactions and most of all: criticism. Twitter hashtags #NotMyMermaid and #NotMyAriel became trending topics and Halle was ridiculed in words as well as in ‘anti-fan art’. And why? Not because anyone doubted the acting and singing talent of the 19-year-old R&B star. Nobody questioned the judgment of director Rob Marshall who praises Halle’s ”rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance, plus a glorious singing voice”. No, the hatred is based solely on Halle’s skin colour supposedly not matching the role. In my opinion, this online hatred of the new mermaid isn’t just racism based on white privilege, it’s rooted in whitewashing.

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Princess Gis(e)la of France

Special interests are one of the most common characteristics of people with autism*, and in my experience, they often come as a surprise. While watching Netflix’ series Vikings to examine the portrayal of King Alfred, a new “fixation” stroke me like lightning. Since her first appearance in Vikings, I became utterly obsessed with fascinated by princess Gisla. So, I did as I always do – googling & reading – and below are the results. An abridged version of this post is also published in the Ancient History Encyclopedia.

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Spanish King Alfred fanfic

I had to brush off my Spanish, but with a little help from my friends, I managed to understand this fanfiction about El rey Alfred by Venezuelan Tumblr user marithesoprano. With her permission, here I post her original with an English translation (as literal as possible). Many thanks to Inti & Rosasharn. 🙂

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Travel blog Canterbury

As most of you know, I am totally fascinated by an Old English king: Alfred the Great. I am learning Old English (including the runes), read everything from and about King Alfred that I can get my hands on, and last summer, I made a trip through southeast England, looking for traces of my hero. For the Dutch travel website Reismuts, I reported on this varied journey, in text, music and photographs. This is a translation of the first blog of this series, about Canterbury.

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Inside the Autside – on autism & identity

For “UP”, the publication of the Dutch organization Lister, I wrote this piece on autism and identity, in which I discuss forming an identity and expectations, prejudices about autism, and having an “autistic identity”. The Dutch (slightly shorter) version can be read here. All comments are very welcome.

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Holy Corona?

Amidst the corona virus pandemic, there is considerable evidence pointing towards the existence of a second century woman, who came to be believed to be the patron saint against plagues and epidemics. Her name? Saint Corona. This blog post explores some of the traces of this intriguing female saint.

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Like an Angel in the Night

For an article on sickness/health/immortality in fan fiction about Alfred the Great, I am currently close reading this very interesting piece by Tumblr user BigHeartBigFart, which combines characters from The Last Kingdom and Outlander. Republished with the author’s permission.

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Tarkovsky’s EYE Candy

Saturday night fever with my (equally nerdy and geeky) friends: from Amsterdam Central Station we take the ferry to visit a non-rectilinear polygon with spectacular large overhangs. Is it a boat? An iceberg? A huge sculpture of a seagull? Nope, it’s the film museum, called EYE and located on the other side of the equal-sounding lake, het IJ. Designed by Viennese architects association Delugan Meissl (famed for their work on the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart), the white and oddly shaped museum houses a museum, exhibitions, cinemas, a restaurant, and extensive (vintage) film-related collections. Next to its permanent display about the history of filmmaking, this autumn, EYE presents an exhibition and film programme on the oeuvre of a director who is not only among Russia’s most influential filmmakers but widely regarded as one of cinema’s godfathers: Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986). 

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The Witcher – third story

As you can imagine, the transmedial storytelling around Wiedźmin [The Witcher] combines many of my interests. Therefore, one of my resolutions for 2020 is to contribute to this phenomenon by means of a new translation (from Polish to English). Every month, I translate one of the short stories from the collection Ostatnie życzenie (The Last Wish) by Andrzej Sapkowski. This is my work from March – with many thanks to my teacher Sławomir! Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions.

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A Good Place for Philosophy?

At the beginning of the 21st century, the philosophical discourse concerning good and evil seems to be subsumed into three major areas; meta-ethics which describes the nature of good and bad, normative ethics concerning how human beings ought to behave and applied ethics which attends to particular moral issues. All three of the above concepts find expression in the network television landscape, most explicitly through the Netflix sitcom The Good Place

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