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9 posts from September 2007

September 24, 2007

Jena 6

This was aimed at A-list political bloggers, not anywun like li'l ol' me, but the point is well-taken. I haven't blogged about the Jena 6 because I've been extremely poopy on blogging lately and haven't blogged much about anything.

But that's a cheap excuse. So here are some links. If you haven't already, go inform yourself about a ridiculously racist case against some black teens that looks like it's in the midst of blowing up in da man's face.

September 23, 2007

Today

Genuinely despairing of people's ability to actually communicate with each other. This week I've had several severe episodes of miscommunication and failure to engage. I really just want to turn the noise off for a while and go off to a desert island somewhere.

It'll be better tomorrow.

September 21, 2007

Insanely Busy

Not posting. No time for complete sentences. Sorry.

September 12, 2007

Road Rape

Well, I didn't have much to say about McCarthy's The Road at first. It packs such an emotional wallop that it's hard to (hard to want to) analyze or even think about. But as time went by, I was more and more bugged by the tremendous (if par for the course) misogyny of the book.

I mean, it's a father and son, for the whole book. and all they encounter--to speak to, to act with or against--are men. As the book progresses, the absence of the boy's mother grows heavier and heavier until her absence is finally explained: she gives up, and wanders off out of camp to die alone.

And what is her argument? Well, that she fears being raped, of course--and her son being raped, naturally.

Naturally. In Cormac McCarthy's world, rape is still a Fate Worse Than Death. The whole world has died, cannibals are roaming the Earth, there's no hope, and she's worried about being raped.

As if her husband wouldn't be just as raped in such a world.

My ogd, can McCarthy simply not conceive of women strong enough to survive a holocaust the way the men here have? Can he somehow not imagine women banding together, or even together with men, to form less predatory groups?

Arg. That's it. I'm not reading any more McCarthy. I was feeling emotionally devastated by the book at first, but as time goes by it just makes me feel dirtier and dirtier, and more and more tired of it, and less and less inclined to think about it. It's apocalypse porn, looking for the most horrific thrills: keeping people alive to eat them slowly, or bringing a pregnant woman with you so you can eat her baby when its born (and what happened to the pregger woman once her baby was born, anyway? She just disappears.)

Argh! I'm done! McCarthy can go hate women off in his little southerly corner and leave me alone!

Reading Update

So You Want to be a Wizard? by Diane Duane.

Lovely fun. Highly recommended to any young teen suffering from Harry withdrawal. Amazing, comparing the work of longtime, professional YA writers to newbies in the field. Duane, along with Duey, whom I just read, has been writing YA, tie-ins, Star Trek novels, etc. for years. It feels like that much writing experience makes her original creative work, when she gets to it, just perfect.

Of course, the novel suffered from a little bit of disconnect between the initial world-building and the world in which the main conflict was resolved. But this happened in A Wrinkle in Time, too, so it's not necessarily a bad thing.

Yay YA!

September 11, 2007

Peeg 'n' Patrick

Dude, me neither.

September 07, 2007

Reading Update

Read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight and have ordered the second book from amazon.

I totally get why all the teenies loves it, precious. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it, either. It's just that the wish being fulfilled in the character of the vampire lover isn't really mine anymore. I'm not a teenager anymore, and being told over and over again that a seventeen-year-old boy is as gorgeous as a Greek god--not to mention able to kill me and having to exert superhuman self-restraint to not do so--really doesn't do it for me anymore.

(I'd prefer a vampire I could actually have sex with, one who's strong--but not so strong that I'm a fragile china vase next to him--and one whose eating habits are disgusting, who has bouts of ugly depression, makes rude jokes on occasion, and sometimes doesn't know what to say ... but at least has learned how to back a girl up when she's smacking an ijit down.

Does somebody wanna write that book? I'd read it!)

Also, quite annoyed at the fact that she didn't find her conflict until about three quarters of the way through the book. Not good writing. But I enjoyed it anyway, and anyone who's interested in YA should definitely read this. The kiddies love it!

Then I read Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey. It's one of those books you think about every spare minute you have until you can get back to reading it. Fantastic ... until the end. Then, I felt utterly cheated. Not because it was a bad ending but because there was NO ending at all. The story just broke off at a particular spot.

The book is the first part of a trilogy, which is fine. But if you're going to have a trilogy rather than a single book in three parts (like Lord of the Rings), each book of the trilogy needs to be complete in itself. I was just left hanging here, with no answers, no resolution, no sensation that the characters had reached a temporary resting place where they'd be safe until I was allowed to come back to them.

A terrible choice.

September 01, 2007

Reading Slow

I just went and counted and so far I seem to have only finished 21 books this year. That's 21 books in 34 weeks. How sad I've become.

In fact, I'm so depressed, I think I'll go watch tv.

Readinggg Update

I just couldn't keep reading Shelters of Stone. It had that addictive quality all of Auel's other books have/had (and I'm still not entirely sure what it is: maybe a combination of loving to hear processes and tools broken down and described, along with tolerating a lot of crap for the sake of favorite old characters you've been with for several books?) but you can't keep somebody reading a story without an actual story there. 250 pages in, and there still was no conflict, no antagonist identified, every problem had been dispatched immediately. Yawn. So I put it down.

Then I went and read Cormac McCarthy's The Road. I'm not sure what to say about it. The book is a deep emotional experience, but it's not at all an intellectual experience, so there's not that much to churn over. It's not so much the horrors that the characters encounter on the road, as it is the real feeling of jeopardy that hangs over every page of the book, that draws you into such a wrenching emotional experience. Also, the realization that there's probably nowhere they can go, and humanity is doomed.

So, while that can be profound, it's also not much to chew on. "Oh my god, we're driving ourselves to ruin!" is pretty much the only proper response. After that, long pause.

Plus, an entire book written in sentence fragments? I'm exaggerating, of course, but drive me crazy, would you?

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