Tuesday, November 27, 2012

'Not-Being-You Club'

Lindy West performs yet another slam dunk over on Jezebel.

As a plus-size woman who works out religiously (have for years) and is especially fond of the really, really difficult aerobic-type yoga, I totally get what she's saying. Totes.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Validation

I've been going through a super tough time financially for the last several months. The old bugaboos of unemployment and possible homelessness have stopped at my place just in time for the Hallmark Holidays. Along with them, the Specters of Past Crises have come a calling.

I had a conversation with one of my older brothers about four years ago (this is how often we talk). I told him about a stint I had working as a contract "rural carrier" for the post office back in late 2000. I mentioned the shift: usually 5:30am to 6:30pm and I mentioned the fact that I rarely had so much as a 15-minute break unless I pulled off of Mount Rose Hwy to stuff half a sandwich into my mouth, and then gunned my Hyundai on to the next clump of frozen mailboxes. His response was "I don't believe that."

I'm pretty sure my brother -- who once was a cop who got fired for beating a handcuffed suspect -- has never actually worked for the post office. I'm also pretty sure he hasn't scrambled to find a Day Job since about 1992 when he sold his company for several million dollars and dipped his toe into the gambling-addict world of day trading.

Likewise, I had a similar conversation with an older relative (they're all older than me, I was my parent's mid-40s surprise). She spent years struggling to make it and did well, has a nice home and some nice real estate income. But she did this struggling and this doing well when it was still possible to do that in this country. I was talking about my desperate three-year stint at a state university in Nevada, in the early 1990s, and how catch-as-catch-can my summer and Christmas break jobs were. My relative interjected: "But your dad helped you, right?" I explained he'd given me a couple grand when I'd first moved to Reno and that was it. My father never offered to pay for a single mind-numbing course I took at that fourth-rate college. "Really?" my relative asked, leaning in, like she was a detective and I a questionable witness. Finally she sat back in her chair and said, "Well, I don't believe that."

I don't think I'm unique. In fact, I think half the reason American society is as Depression-era stratified as it is right now is because of disbelief. Like alcoholism or drug addiction, 99-percent of the poverty problem is denial on the part of the Haves that the Have Nots even exist.

I want to reassure everybody that the real reason I can't find work is because I'm not looking hard enough. It's weirdly comfortable to the Haves if they could just blame me for my poverty. But the last interview I went on was for a $12-an-hour copy store job. The company had flown the job announcement on a website (everything is online now) and nearly one hundred vendors (headhunter/temp agencies) had responded. I was the first of 25-plus applicants the nice executive in Tukwila interviewed. One of 25. For a job that pays just a dollar above the Washington state minimum wage. No benefits. Contract would be for 18 months effectively locking me out of any health benefits and/or wage increases for over a year should I be blessedly lucky enough to be the chosen one.

So while the Haves continue to live in denial, I and half the rest of the country, slide deeper into long-term unemployment, poverty and possibly homlessness.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Parkour ... or Zumba, maybe?

Josh looks fantastically fit. Like maybe he's been taking parkour or Zumba classes?

Whedon on Romney

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Long Haul or What I Learned at Summer Camp

When you get old, you enjoy comparing things. Things like incomes, relationships and especially people. Comparing the trajectories of people's lives is also interesting. Let's take these two for example:

Sixto Rodriguez is 70 years old. He's been making folk music since he was a teenager. His "big break" came at age 28 when his album Cold Fact was produced. Then he got ignored by the American music scene for decades.

 Rodriguez is sort of like a Hispanic Bob Dylan. His songs are about the disenfranchisement of the lower class, the resentment created by racism and the isolation of poverty. Although a fellow Detroiter, he's nothing like Eminem. For some bizarre reason, white South Africans latched onto copies of Cold Fact way back in the 1970s and 80s and declared him 'the voice of their generation'. Go figure. Unfortunately, Rodriguez didn't know he was huge in South Africa for decades. Then somebody hunted him down, now he tours and does sold-out shows. It only took 40 years for his art to be recognized, to find an appreciative audience.

And that's okay because giants like Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde never really found their audiences. They both died in relative obscurity and poverty because Van Gogh was nuts and Wilde had been disowned by London society after his indecency trial. Today Van Gogh's paintings sell for more than the GDP of some third-world countries and Wilde's plays are perpetually being re-interpreted in theaters and on film.

Let's compare Rodriguez to this woman. Lena Dunham is the daughter of New York artists. She grew up in and around the New York art scene. She attended a prestigious school in New York famous for producing artists made up of the genes of other artists. Then she graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio. It's an elite liberal arts university that has graduated a number of Pulitzer Prize winners, screenplay writers and other over-achievers. It costs $50,000 a year  to attend Oberlin. Just the tuition is $50,000. Forget room, board, a nice beer bong, etc. According to one Ohio news site, it's about $200,000 to get an undergraduate degree. Throw in a modest car accident (college kids are not the best drivers), a little pneumonia or maybe an appendicitis and that's a quarter of a million dollars to educate one kid. Wow, her parents must love her.

Dunham made an independent film when she was about 25 called Tiny Furniture and won a bunch of awards. It's about a recent college grad from an elite liberal arts college trying to decide what to do with herself after college. I'm sure this was a huge stretch for Dunham, I mean to get inside the lead character's head, examine all that self doubt and white rich person's guilt. I'm guessing Tiny Furniture is like the cinematic equivalent of Native Son. It does for wealthy white New Yorkers what Richard Wright's book did for oppressed black people in the 1940s. I mean how does one escape the curse of being rich, white and privileged? You kill your metaphorical rats, you endure the lines at the new up-scale bistro and you accept your fate to live near the top of America's social ladder. Oh, the horror.

Recently Dunham, who's been ridiculed for her successful HBO comedy Girls, signed a book deal with Random House to write a memoir/humorous confessional of her early years. The publishing deal nets her $3.5 million. (Looks like the quarter mill for that Bachelor's paid off.) And Random House has surprised no one by doing what every harebrained, cookie-cutter publisher left in America is doing: latching on to the shiniest, momentarily interesting writer and hoping this one is the goose capable of crapping gold. I mean, just think of all the slack-jawed trustafarians slouching around Williamsburg who will flock to the bookstores to buy this tome. Wait, those kids read books don't they?

And are there any physical bookstores left?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Can't complain

When the weather has been freakishly warm and SUNNY for over two months in Seattle, it's hard to complain about anything. It's almost impossible.


Author Bio

I sent a witty one-paragraph bio to the Bridport Prize fiction writing reps because I won a minor place in the back of their upcoming literary anthology. It wasn't really funny, just witty.

Then I read a bunch of bios for last year's winners and felt super inadequate. Amongst the author bios of past winners:

  • Somebody who taught English to refugees in Darfur while commuting to and from work by bicycle (think: sand dunes and snipers)
  • An MBA from New York who now teaches past-life reincarnation workshops in Nepal
  • An author with an MFA, an MD and a doctorate in quantum physics who, in her spare time, bathes homeless kittens that are in 'transitional housing' (the RSPCA)
  • An Irish author who is a recovering alcoholic and whose work has previously appeared in Men's Fitness, Harper's Bazaar and OMNI magazine (out of print since 1998)
  • An English author who was raised in Honduras in a rat-infested tree house while writing dissertations on Joyce, David Foster Wallace and string theory ... in Spanish by flashlight
It's bios like these that remind me that as a college dropout, without a degree I'm nothing!



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Passive vs Active

Couldn't say no to this quote/comment on Feministing regarding ESPN's Body Issue photo spread:

In a culture in which women’s bodies are typically valued for being passive objects that are nice to look at, admiring female athletes’ bodies for being active agents that are nice to look at has the potential to be a truly great thing. 

 (Sarah Robles is not in the ESPN photo spread)

Interesting how this plays into the larger theme of objectification through passivity that I touched on in one of my posts long ago. In contemporary storytelling, female characters are seen as characters who things happen to, versus male characters who do things. Male characters are allowed to be mufti-faceted in a way female characters, especially in films, television and video games almost never are.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Underneath Prometheus

Now that I've had a second chance to see Ridley Scott's Prometheus I'm more sure of a few things.

First, the gist of it: in the near future a bazillionaire, Peter Weyland, funds a space trip to a distant planet based on a couple of archeologists' finding a stellar map. Since this is Ridley Scott, the guy who gave us Alien the quintessential blending of horror and sci-fi and also the moody, existential Blade Runner; things go bad quickly.

The ship lands on the barren planet and under the thrumming soundtrack we enter the haunted house. It quickly becomes clear that this place has more in common with the Nellis Testing Range in Nevada or Chernobyl in Russia than any mythical garden of creation.

Contrary to what most film critics have said, the supporting cast are not stereotypes. We have a black ship's captain with a Eastern European name who speaks with a Texas accent and is fond of accordions. There's also a geologist with a punk hairdo and tribal tattoos who looks like a roadie rather than a scientist. Scott is forced to move the film along at such a brisk pace we don't have time to really know who any of these characters are.

The aliens are equally enigmatic and raise lots of questions. Why do they all look like the product of a white supremacist eugenics project with freakishly perfect physiques and superman strength? Most importantly, why are they all male?

And then there's the leads: Elizabeth Shaw played by Noomi Rapace of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo fame and David, an android, played by Michael Fassbender. Both actors seem right at home in dark, moody films with depressing story arcs. Fassbender described his character as asexual. I disagree. David, despite his not being a "real boy" has all the trappings of an angst-ridden 21st century man. He's conflicted, vain and seems to remember he's supposed to empathize with and interact with his fellow explorers a few moments later than he should -- just like your run-of-the-mill geek prodigy.

At it's core, Prometheus is a love story. Early on David gently strokes Elizabeth's cryogenic chamber as he watches her dreams via the magical technology of this future world. The android also watches Lawrence of Arabia and pantomimes Peter O'Toole's dialogue. It's no accident David is attracted to a film where the lead is other worldly and sees himself as alienated from his fellow English men. For a being incapable of emotions and lacking "a soul" he does a hell of a job convincing us otherwise. Underneath his conceit, David is desperate to fit in and win approval of his team members and creator, old man Weyland. David even has a couple of sibling standoffs with Vickers, one of Weyland's corporate execs who is clearly envious of David's position as the No.1 son.

And he does what every male lead inevitably does in every love story. He betrays and disappoints Elizabeth and, she in turn, has to forgive him if they're both to survive when the sky starts to fall.

Some of the most nuanced scenes in the film are between David and Elizabeth. When he realizes she's accidentally been "impregnated" by the weapon they find in this sterile Eden he's impersonal and efficient but there's a hint of envy when he asks Elizabeth if she's "recently been intimate" with her boyfriend, fellow archeologist Holloway. And the scene after Elizabeth gets the monster removed is especially interesting. Elizabeth wanders bloody and drugged through the ship and finds David gently fawning over his creator, Weyland. When David sees Elizabeth he gallantly tosses his lab coat over her and then makes an awkward pun as though her physicality, her femininity, is at once fascinating and scary to him; just like a regular man would.

This film is about the dislocation between the head and the animal body, between the intellect and it's creative science and the body with its drives and appetites for oxygen, food and sex. It's a metaphor first brought up when one of the characters asks David why he's putting his helmet on even though he doesn't breathe. It's echoed again when the explorers find a decapitated alien and in the finale.

David is an intellect who tries to rise above his albeit manufactured physical self and fails. Just like he tries to separate himself from any possible emotions for Elizabeth. Prometheus is a meditation on the quintessential male and female archetypes and what they're compelled to come together to do: create. And destroy.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I'm poor, I'm here, get used to it

I'll be turning 47 in a few weeks. A big number. But arthritis aside there's one thing that pisses me off more than anything else. See, I'm poor. And some people, especially my own family, are oblivious to this. You might even say they're conveniently oblivious.

This was fine 20 years ago. At 27, I was trying to go to college. (Not surprisingly, this was something I couldn't afford). But now that I'm staring 50 in the teeth, it's a bigger deal. I have no retirement, pension or 401k.

A friend (from a moderate upper-middle class family) came and visited me after I had foot surgery in February. Upon surveying my noisy, cramped apartment she said: "This is just like an apartment my parents had in college." And that would be fine, if I was still in my twenties, but I'm not.

Another friend was shocked when I asked her for a loan (which I paid back) in spring 2010 because I couldn't pay my rent. "Couldn't you take it out of savings?" she asked. "What savings?" I answered. I had a modest savings account when I'd been laid off from my last contract job in late 2008. I'd squirreled away about five grand but that was long gone by 2010 after two years of the Great Recession, unemployment/under-employment and a lingering Workman's Comp suit-slash-back injury.

That friend had a house, mostly paid for. She and her husband both worked for a software giant. They had a motorcycle, paid for. Two late-model cars, one a Porsche, paid for. They had home entertainment systems, new personal computers that were replaced seasonally and numerous other gadgets including a top-of-the-line digital camera that cost more than all the digital cameras I've owned put together. My friend and her hubby had comprehensive medical insurance. If they got the sniffles, they dropped everything and went to the nearest holistic doctor. They both had multiple gym memberships that included free massages and physical therapy. They both had retired parents who had pensions and owned their own homes.

Back in Reno circa 2000, I had an acquaintance say to me: "You're so lucky you rent. You're not tied down, you're footloose and fancy free." Yeah, footloose enough that I might loose my apartment at a moment's notice thanks to Nevada's draconian rental laws (and I did a couple times). Oh, lucky me.

I know part of my poorness is because I'm not married. I've been engaged and had live-in boyfriends in the past but these days finding my "one true love" and cramming our stuff into one rental sounds about as much fun as my next root canal. I'm not looking for anyone to "complete me". That's such a fucked up, co-dependent way of looking at relationships I could devote an entire separate post to it. Suffice it to say, I have dalliances, not live-in relationships because live-in relationships are expensive. When and if that loving feeling ends, somebody's gotta move out. Rental trucks have to be hired and breakups are expen$ive.

I'm starting a new job next week. It will be the first time I've worked as a technical writer since 2008. And, though I'm thrilled to be going back to work, I'm not eager to rejoin the Cubicle Prairie. I'm not in love with the colors gray or beige and not looking forward to staring at those colors for 40+ hours a week, while waiting for my lumbar sprain and sciatica to make a painful return.

As Tyler Durden said in Fight Club, "This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time."

While contracting at Boeing in 2008, I shared a cubicle with a guy who had a heart attack. In the cubicle. At work. He's okay now but it was scary and jarring and made me take a long look at what I was doing with my life and how I wanted to live the rest of it.

As for housing, I’ve never had the privilege of owning one. I toyed with the idea in 1994 (a year of profoundly bad decisions). I had an idiot relative insist I could buy a tiny plot of land outside Reno, make a go of it in some weird mobile-home-converted-into-a-fire trap. Of course, I didn’t have the advantage of having a spouse who would support me via three minimum-wage jobs while I dipped my toe in the real estate market and pondered my wonderfulness. But I was going to a state university and student loan debt blasted whatever vague semblance of credit I might have had right out of the water.

It’s amazing that after YEARS of being poor I still have to explain that I’m poor to my relatives. They’ve been down playing my poverty to assuage their guilt for so long I am forever hearing phrases like “your apartment must be cozy.” Cut the Century 21 bullshit. A $500,000 cabin with a wood stove overlooking a lake is cozy. I live in a dumpy, low-income apartment with paper-thin walls. Just like I did when my mother was raising me. If that was “cozy” why did my Mom have so much trouble paying the winter heating bill?

When I say I'm poor, I'm not suggesting I'm Third World poor. I'm not typing this from a cardboard shack perched atop a landfill in Guatemala, the Philippines or some other living hell. I don't forage for food in dumpsters like the street urchins of the Ukraine.Yet. But sitting here in my tiny apartment, I'm close enough to the street to hear the homeless people pushing their shopping carts up the sidewalk. Unlike a whole lot of upper-middle class folks I know, I visited food banks before late 2008.

So stop whining about how much in taxes you had to pay on your stock dividends this year, rich bitch in my yoga class. And quit complaining about how your $8,000 retreat to Maui was cut short because your parents reined in your trust fund, other rich bitch. And I don't give a crap if your Lexus got towed while parked in Belltown because I haven't owned a car in eight years. This was a choice but, like 90-percent of all my decisions, it came down to money. And that's something I've never had enough of to really pass for middle class.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Better and better



64 days post op. The doc today said it looks super good, esp. the x-rays, so I can continue wearing regular shoes no problem.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Well that was rude

So yesterday I posted a comment on a this feminist website. It was a normal, sane, relatively polite comment in response to an (apparently?) lesbian writer's diatribe about penises.

Apparently she's seen too many of the penii and she's sick of it. Why in straight porn there are penii all over the damn place. Who knew?!

So liberal feminist that I am, (there are different kinds) I posted a comment defending the penii and their right to appear in straight porn along with their owners (men). This is not the first time I've defended penises and penis owners (don't look so surprised) and it probably won't be the last time.


Every time you point, I see a penis!


In response to my relatively sane, calm, non-profanity comment -- which disagreed with her essay -- it was deleted.

Well, fuck.

Sorry, you can't claim to be part of the minority, part of the oppressed, under represented and under heard and then hypocritically delete comments by any other feminist you just don't agree with.

So obscure feminist blog, bye-bye! You are no longer in my links at the right. If I can't post a polite comment on your site politely disagreeing with you, fuck you.

Friday, March 09, 2012

22 days post-op


Got my 3 week post-op x-rays and clinic visit yesterday. They want me to go another three weeks no-weight-bearing/on the crutches. Argh! But I kinda see the point. My no.1 metatarsal looks like the curved leg of a chair (it should be relatively straight). All those years of walking on the deformity caused the foot to over compensate and form the bunion and torque the metatarsal out.

At least now I get to wash it! It looks way better, swelling's gone way down, movement has returned to the outter three toes and the middle one that was shortened. The big toe is still super stiff and sore but coming along.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Say 'no' to Blimpbaugh

Senator McCaskill,

I heard via online news that you have put forward a motion to stop having Rush Limbaugh's bust installed in your state's hall of fame.

As a non-Missourian but a U.S. citizen and registered voter, I applaud your effort. I hope you succeed.

I understand your state's hall of fame is for persons of historical note, people like Mark Twain.

I wonder what someone like Mr. Twain would think if he knew that an inflammatory, misinformed "commentator" like Limbaugh -- who earns some $50-$100 million per year -- was having his likeness installed in such an august place?

Limbaugh has never run for political office. He is not William F. Buckley, Jr. He is not even a passable George Will and he's certainly no Barry Goldwater.

Other than slur the good name of those who have successfully held office like Al Gore, make fun of actors with crippling illnesses like Michael J. Fox and refer to enlisted personnel with political views opposing his as "phony soldiers" -- what has Limbaugh done to warrant a bust in the hall of fame?

Thank you again,

-- M. Murphy
Seattle, WA

Go here to thank Senator McCaskill for her efforts to halt the installation of Limbaugh's bust.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Yesss

Feminists have a sense of humor. Here it is:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Olde Raypey Tymes

Somebody get this lizard out of my wig!

I'm coming to this debate five months late, but since I'm reading the books (just started No. 4) I wanted to say something about the controversy surrounding fantasy author, George R.R. Martin's books aka HBO series Game of Thrones.

Completely unfamiliar with this melodrama? Martin began publishing a series of fantasy novels in 1996. He's an obese, old nerd who once wrote for television, was a fan of Tolkien and decided he wanted his own Middle Earth. So Martin came up with Westeros, which is like medieval France with more dismemberment (and rape).

Except he didn't like the way Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, T.H. White and a dozen others wrote fantasy. There was too much swishing of magical swords and not enough actual hacking of limbs with "real" steel swords. Apparently, Martin is a man who knows his Society for Creative Anachronism's jousting rules -- heavy vs. light armor ... (Sorry, I nodded off for a sec). So Martin's world is envisioned with all the vérité of the Dark Ages or maybe the Inquisition. Beheadings and maimings galore!!! This is fantasy for the adults. Westeros is a place where The Lord of the Rings' Frodo-n-Sam would have been court jesters by day and S&M bottoms by night.

Except that wasn't vérité enough, he wanted Westeros to feel like effed up Europe in Olden Tymes and that meant lots of misogyny. The book's narrative voice gleefully details numerous rapes with dated cheesy verbiage.

Of all the prejudices and fears of those times, why'd he pick the monotonous rape and perpetual oppression of women???

The answer's simple. Martin's a former Catholic school boy. There are two kinds of women in the Catholic school boy universe: WHORES and virgins (yee faire maidens). The end. No multi-fauceted characters as deeply flawed as the male characters allowed. In Westeros, you're either a sexless 11-year-old girl or a WHORE. And George Martin loves that word. I counted WHORE eight times on one page in the first novel.

Never mind the fact that in re-imagining a mythic Olde Europe, Martin ineptly leaves out the primary impetus for misogyny -- women weren't allowed to own property or businesses, say 'no' to a marriage proposal, lead mass, etc. -- the Church. The religion that instigated the Inquisition, burned countless Jews, women and "witches", re-wrote the New Testament, demanded exorbitant taxes from lords to build their Liberace-style Vatican, required celibate males for their priesthood ... and the absolute subjugation of women by medieval society. So what's with all the WHORE calling, George, in a pagan society???

Well today, it's titillating for one. It's sexy if you're an overweight, pasty-white nerd to imagine helpless slave girls writhing at your feet. And this hypothetical nerd has envisioned himself as being like Conan the Barbarian, with pecs bloated from steroids, legs like oak trees and a swept back Fabio hairdo (Kal Drogo!).

But I can't blame parochial school for George's fixation on pre-teen virgins. And that's just ... creepy. In one interview he glumly explains how HBO wasn't thrilled that one of the key characters, Daenerys, is just 13 when she's "wed" to a 30-year-old barbarian. So they made her 18. And George was upset that they had to get an actual adult -- a 22-year-old actor -- to play the child bride. (Damn ye censors!).

And all his fans are crying foul because snarky blogger Sady Doyle, and other women writers, are outraged by the rabid misogyny in the books and now the TV show. The argument Alyssa Rosenberg and a dozen others ineptly make is that Things Really Were Like That Way Back When. Well, yeah maybe. And if they still were, Alyssa, you and I wouldn't be sitting at computers debating the merits of a fantasy novel. All us vagina owner would be washing some feudal lord's clothing by hand, dying during child birth or maybe standing on the slave block waiting to be auctioned off to our next owner/husband. I can't wait for the re-enactment at the next renaissance fair!

Is Martin responsible for upholding his imagined characters to some higher standard? Why should he when most other sci-fi/fantasy novelists can't be bothered and their armies of mostly white, mostly heterosexual, mostly male fans are happy to consume their writing while defending any overt sexism and racism as attempts to "keep it real." (Umm, it's pretend, okay?)

But don't make the female characters as flawed and multi-fauceted as any of the dudes and thus empower them to DO SOMETHING! Rather, George (and his ilk) incessantly objectifies them so that they just sit there like inflatable dolls waiting for something to be DONE TO THEM.

Like Sansa. She just sits there, cries a lot and is the negative stereotype of the vapid, helpless, pretty teenager. Likewise Daenerys, the teen queen, who isn't allowed to have a sex life with Jora Mormount or anybody because ... because ... because ... in Martin's eyes she has to stay vaguely virginal or else she'll fall off the misogynistic precipice and into the stereotype of WHORE. And we all know what sexually active, adult women are!!! They're WHORES. They're manipulative, scheming, power-mad, hyper-emotional, duplicitous WHORES. Unless they're like Ygritte -- in which case they pay for their liberation with their lives, 'cos ya know womens is not to be trusted!

Yeesh.

But apparently complaints about Martin's Whore Tourette's Syndrome got back to him, because by book four, he's toned the WHORE-calling down a bit. Now Little homicidal Arya is traveling to distant lands (rather than being kidnapped by every murder/raper in yon Westeros). And Brienne (the Ugliest Woman in Westeros, oh the shame!) is on a horse galloping off to save Sansa (because what the hell else can you do with a one-dimensional female character except tie her to the tracks and then save her over and over?).

Too pretty to raype? Me thinks not.

Meanwhile, even if you like Martin's bloated sentences (Yee Olde Tyme Talk Es Dyfficult, M'Lord) and his endless over-use of adjectives and adverbs (please save me from "waddles") you've got to wonder: why aren't all the boys getting raped or threatened with rape? If Jaime Lannister is that pretty, why haven't any of these barbarous villains bent him over and horse fucked him yet?

And sure there are token gay male characters but they get conveniently killed off before George has to bother fleshing out their characters ala Renley Baratheon (already dead!). Apparently lesbians don't exist in this pseudo early-Euro world.

And what's up with the overt classism? Did George tour the Tower of London and just not get it? Monarchies are bad and democracies are good, right? Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Surely George isn't dragging us through thousands of pages of fantasy just to drop that cliche at our feet? I thought sci-fi/fantasy readers were a tad more sophisticated than that.

Fear not ye not-so-gentle readers of ye tomes. I shall continue to dodge hack sentences and dead-horse adverbs all the way to the end. I want to get to the part where little Arya grows up, has normal sex (not rape!) and sticks her sword so far up one of the misogynistic villain's asses it comes out his mouth.

P.S. Dear HBO, Peter Dinklage is a lot of things: talented, dynamic, hella fun to watch act. But he is not ugly, not by a long shot. Shame on you for casting him as the Ugly Character Standing in for the Ogreish Author.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pooblished, pooblished again


But not for money.

The Legendary has published one of my short stories, The War with Canada, which is good as it was starting to feel really ignored (if short stories even have feelings). A couple of my other short stories were hogging all the attention.