Wednesday, May 16, 2012

... down on my knees, begging you, please, give me some more of that stuff ...

I should be ashamed of myself.
I am reading Fifty Shades of Grey.
I read some at work. And by some, lets say about 150 pages. In an hour. One glorious hour.
I can't put it down.
I'm glad I have an actual office, with a door. This means I can hide it if I see people coming. I've been shoving it under papers.
I have gotten next to nothing done this morning - mostly due to meetings, testing, feeling illish, and THAT BOOK.

My book 'diet' is varied. I've read Push, Bearing an Hourglass, The Kite Runner, some Sherlock Holmes, A Witch of Blackbird Pond (was stranded in the GT room, needed something to do), and ever so many news articles in the past month. But THIS. Reminds me (non-ironically) of my obsessed teenage days reading Cassandra Claire's Draco Trilogy (if anyone is interested, I have .PDF files of the fan-fiction, which has been pretty much scoured from the internet, due to some scandal).

And it makes it hard for me to, you know, work. Or really, concentrate on anything much. Except that hunk of book on my desk.

I blame EJ. She came into my office all aglow and atwitter and she is just so nice and sweet and lovely and she kept talking about THIS BOOK and she had that aura of awesome post-reading joy surrounding her and she was going on and on about how it wasn't her 'thing' but it was just so ... and could I get her the sequel? Because I had to buy myself a copy. That night. Immediately.

Yes, ma'am.

So, one lovely trip to Barnes and Noble later I have the first and second books in my possession, as well as a banned book (Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut) because I am, of course, a reasonable person and don't only read 'trash' novels.

Poor Mr. Vonnegut may have to wait until I finish a book or three.

Speaking of Banned Books - I owe some words of response to my two latest endeavors, so let me attempt to be more rational and analytical.

Song of Solomon - I felt almost NOTHING about this book. The level of MEH was quite astounding. Really, sincerely, I tried. I didn't like any of the characters. I wanted to shake all of them, except maybe Pilate. It was violent and unfocused, and I really couldn't bring myself to feel much for the people in the story. Milkman was on a search for identity and meaning in a newer, bigger world. But none of the searching made me empathize with him, or want him to find the answers he sought. The only strong point I can take from this novel is that as milkman realizes his 'showboating' and self-glorification get him nowhere, he is able to release it bit by bit. That is a good point. I suppose. Maybe I'm reading too many of the same type of novel back-to-back. It was violent, abuse was mentioned, and there was some sexuality, but I don't see why it was banned. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone below 10th grade, but that point is rendered moot by the fact that I would never recommend it at all. I just have very little emotional energy to care about it, honestly. Momma Martin would be saddened by my lack of depth here, but I couldn't love or loathe this book enough to have a wordier response.

The Color Purple -
Now this book I loved. I understand the ban. I understand the reason that people are shocked about the sexuality, violence, and darkness in the book. Abuse is rampant. Women are constantly being put underfoot. A lesbian relationship blossoms. Sexual relationships are fluid. Everyone is in flux, growing, changing, finding new ways of being. This book made me feel like I'd just opened a new bag of freshly ground, excellent coffee - the earthy, dark, rich feeling of forward motion and discovery. Infinite possibility blossomed in the characters, and they went unexpected and far-off places. I felt like I went with them and felt change uncurling in my bones. Haven't we all written letters to God? Haven't we all groaned and longed under a weighty yoke and then wondered how to step out from under it? Haven't we all had our own small miracles? Don't we all want our own little happy ending? The most powerful moment in the book was the last letter - one of forgiveness and strength. Celie even forgives God. She's found her strength and abandoned her question of 'why me?' that's followed through the previous letters.
So much love for this book.

And from loving to loathing in a single breath - I am upset about Amendment 1. I am hacked off at the South and Bible Belt in general, as well as with people with a 'armchair' view of rights for people they can't relate to. More specifically, the state of North Carolina and a lot of people of my acquaintance. And I'm sure that this post will NOT change anything. I can't convince people to see things the way I do by RANT RANT RANTing on the internet, or by raging that they simply don't care. But this is my corner of the internet, after all.

When mentioned, I have gotten the following responses -
  1. It's not even your state, CTFO.
  2. It doesn't matter to you, really. You aren't gay.
  3. Gay people shouldn't be married. God says so. In fact, the very fact that they are gay means they are abominations on the earth.
  4. Marriage is just so special, and we need to keep it that way.
  5. Wait, are you gay? I thought you went out with that guy last week?
  6. So, bisexuals should be able to marry one of each?
  7. Really, it's all about tax breaks.
  8. Gay people don't have those kinds of commitments anyway, you know?
  9. Well, I don't care what they do as long as it doesn't change how my life is going. 
A poll was given to see if people in North Carolina even knew WHAT they were voting about.
27% of people thought it was only a gay marriage ban, and 7% of people thought that the bill would legalize gay marriage. 26% of people weren't sure about what the legislation was about. So, only about 40% of the people polled knew what the vote was about.

I am overwhelmingly struck by how many people equate this issue only to 'Adam and Steve'. Well, here's what I've been assigning as homework for them ... Far reaching consequences and  Trifecta of intolerance and Straight Man for Gay Marriage

And to the people who think it has NOTHING to do with 'Adam and Steve' - One Old Queer


Feel free to comment. I love a good debate.

More Randomness

This is an image I found that I've chosen to reflect back on as many times a day as I need to - which is (un)surprisingly often -

Why is it so easy to get in/stay in that state? Anyone?

Additionally, this is something that's been running around in my head all week - unrelated to Amendment 1, because all the WRONG people are overly verbose about it (at least at my job) ...
And a final thought, from a book I've been reading piecemeal online - "Perhaps the reason we are unable to love is that we yearn to be loved, that is, we demand something (love) from our partner instead of delivering ourselves up to him demand-free and asking for nothing but his company."

Bonus points if you name the novel.


1 comment:

  1. It might remind you of the Draco trilogy because it originated as Twilight fanfic. Or so the Daily Mail tells me :)