So This is Christmas

I remember defending Limp Bizkit lyrics from people who would say that they were a terrible talentless band. On one occasion, I actually tried to tell someone how we knew the number of times this one song said fuck: “We only know he says it forty-six times because he counts for us.”

There’s a line: “If I say fuck two more times/ that’s forty-six fucks in this fucked up rhyme.” 

Reading that today the number two question on my mind is is he counting the fuck said at the declaration as being before the two more times? Is it in addition to the forty six…Hell maybe he’s not counting it at all as it’s sort of a quotation.

My number one question is how the Hell did I think this was good music?

I kind of have the same feeling with Christmas, right now. How did I ever like this? I can’t remember an amazing Christmas. I can remember decent ones. My brother died a few years ago on Christmas; that’s the thing that sticks out in my mind. Now that I’ve come to terms with not liking large groups of people and there being nothing wrong with that, the whole holiday season presents an entirely different kind of problem for me. I can’t rush out to buy food without encountering herds of people acting in all the ways that the spirit of the season says they shouldn’t.

This opinion that Christmas isn’t all it’s cracked up to be might not be something new, but it is something real. Other than the cold weather, Doctor Who episode, and the longer nights, this time of year is just something I dread and now that it’s here I just want it to be over so that we can resume our regular pattern of whatever it is we do.

Not A Call To Arms

There’s a series of age worn black and white photographs out there of Charles Bukowski. In them he is depicted with a cigar in his mouth as he smiles with some young woman on his lap. The photos depict him, at first, grasping her ass tightly as she looks into the camera and he’s leaned back proud and happy. The second one has him, sans cigar and sucking on her nipple (did I mention she’s totally nude, yeah she is?). In the third he’s fingering her with a determined look on his face.

I don’t know the context of the pictures or who took them. For what I’m about to describe I don’t think it matters. The content of the photos is important, but their origins don’t have much need here. You see, earlier today I watched a guy mount a defense against feminism based on the fact that people call Bukowski a misogynist. His evidence was these pictures.

It would see that somehow having sex with women means you couldn’t possibly hate them—in much the same way that I guess befriending blacks or being one means you can’t be racist…

It’s always funny to me how much effort people put into changing the minds of people who they disagree with. And really there’s all this talk about debating and making points and outreach, but there’s no reaching out to someone who has this kind of false logic. At least not from what I can see.

What do you tell someone who attributes something like that to being proof of this sweeping claim that requires a lot of looking over of years of work? I believe that we need to point out injustices when we see them and that it is the right thing to do, but I don’t think that we’re serving a purpose by going after someone so far gone that they resort to this kind of logic.

Why waste your time?

Tease: A novel by Amanda Maciel

Hello World.

It’s been a while. I’m still here. Still alive. Still kicking. But I haven’t felt like writing here in a while.

downloadThis novel made me want to write something. Not exactly a review, but something short and that spoke about how it felt to read something like this. To give a short summary of what I read and how I came to read it, well it all started with me deciding that I needed to study up on the bitchy It-Girl stereotype that we see so often in fiction. We see those characters so often, but we rarely get to root for them and I wanted to read something where the female lead was that type.

So like all people with a question I asked Google and and in a lot of the results Tease came up as a huge book this year. The message that the book was trying to get across seemed like a no-brainer. Don’t be a bully. Bullying is bad. We’ve heard it all before.

Then I read the preview pages and I liked the writing so I picked it up. The book is the story of the side-kick of the Junior class’s queen bee. She’s sucked into a whirlwind cult of personality that is Brielle and that drives and influences her life in high school. And the story follows them through two related time periods. The events leading up to the suicide of a classmate that they bullied and the events following it and how it effects their lives from then on out.

It’s not really a soft, cuddly book and there’s nothing pretty about most of the characters. That’s what kind of makes it feel so genuine. Most of us who’ve attended the average American high school have known girls like Brielle and we’ve known the people who get wrapped up in their world. And we’ve known or been the victims. Hell, some of us have been the Brielles. That’s what makes it all kind of powerful. When you’re in high school and everything is new, but at the same time you’re expected to handle it in a more adult way everything feels more serious. There’s seemingly everything on stake and everything matters so much. The world is always falling apart, or so it seems. It’s easy as an adult to look at the problems kids face and shrug them off, because you know how hard it is being an adult.

But that’s kind of the problem. In all that growing up and changing we forget how hard it was being a kid. We forget the sting of first loves and of friendships gone sour and of betrayal and we forget how much all of it mattered. And how it still has an effect on who we are.

This book does an excellent job reminding you.

It’s not always and easy read, but the characters are identifiable. The situationss are familiar but painted in an interest light and the topic is vey relevant to the current times. I read this book to learn more about writing my own characters and trying to find a way to identify with those high school girls that we hated or love to hate. But I think this book so be in classrooms and schools if it’s not already.

It might save lives.