Whatcha reading?

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

Moderator: Moderator

User avatar
David Loftus
Posts: 3182
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Postby David Loftus » Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:11 am

_Pompeii_ was indeed a fast-reading barnburner. I might call it a literary potboiler. Great fun.

I'm still reeling from the impact of _Self-Made Man: one woman's journey into manhood and back again_ by Norah Vincent.

A few choice quotes:

"Dating women as a man was a lesson in female power, and it made me, of all things, into a momentary misogynist, which, I suppose was the best indicator that my experiment had worked. I saw my own sex from the other side, and I disliked women irrationally for a while because of it. I disliked their superiority, their accusatory smiles, their entitlement to choose or dash me with a fingertip, an execution so lazy, so effortless, it made the defeats and even the successes unbearably humiliating. . . ."

"In an odd way I think that what happened to me as Ned is what happened in some form or other to most of the guys in the men's group, though I experienced the alienation more intensely because I was a woman. . . . But for these men, living in their man's box wasn't a particularly good fit either, and learning this in spades may have been Ned's best lesson in the toxicity of gender roles. Those roles had proved to be ungainly, suffocating, torpor-inducing or even nearly fatal to a lot more people than I'd thought, and for the simple reason that, man or woman, they didn't let you be yourself."

"I passed in a man's world not because my mask was so real, but because the world of men was a masked ball. Only in my men's group did I see these masks removed and scrutinized. Only then did I know that my disguise was the one thing I had in common with every guy in the room."

She's discovered some of the things I remember wrestling with back in college, when I was deeply interested in the women's movement but kept running into a few odd blind spots in their picture of reality, and that I discussed in my book.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

Tony Rabig
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 4:44 pm
Location: Parsons, KS

Haldeman

Postby Tony Rabig » Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:19 am

Steve Evil,

Haldeman's done plenty of sf, but also did a novel called 1968, which is a must-read. Available on its own as an Avon pb, and Haldeman may still have signed hardcovers for sale (check his web page), and it's also included in his recent hardcover WAR STORIES. It's not a genre novel, so you're not likely to find it in the sf racks.

Enjoy
--tr

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Postby Moderator » Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:32 am

Loftus - I genuinely enjoyed Pompei, though, as you wrote, it's a bit of a potboiler. Well written and fun to read, as you say...
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

A Wasted Mind
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:53 pm
Location: British Columbia

Postby A Wasted Mind » Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:33 pm

On my bedside table right now:

Anthony Burgess - The Long Day Wanes (an old favourite of mine)

Larry Niven and Brenda Cooper - Building Harlequin's Moon

P.D. James - THe Children of Men

User avatar
David Loftus
Posts: 3182
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Postby David Loftus » Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:45 am

Can we, with our collective experience, help illuminate Burgess a bit further for people (in particular, me) to read? I read Clockwork, of course, many years ago, and every once in a while I dip into Burgess with varying (but never negative) results.

His huge collection of essays, _But Do Blondes Prefer Gentlemen?_ was terrific in places, but of course took a long time. I think I enjoyed his two volumes of autobio, _Little Wilson and Big God_ and _You've Had Your Time_, the most. I raced through _99 Novels_. I've read little of his fiction, though. Read _1985_, which is half novel, half essay, back in high school and like it well enough. Tried _Dead Man in Deptford_ much more recently -- within the past 2 years -- and wanted to like it a lot more than I did.

I think I've MEANT to read his thriller-satire, _Tremor of Intent_ but haven't gotten to it. Also felt I SHOULD read _Earthly Powers_ but haven't ramped up enough motivation to attempt it. Remember being tempted by _The End of the World News_ just because of the cool cover on the hardback.

Anyone have any recommendations?
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:55 am

I don't think men hate women, but men are so immature about their sexual role--mostly, because of the bad ideals set forth by their fathers--that they think they have to lie to get sexual comfort. Men want relationships as badly as any woman--actually, men are more lonely, without a partner, I'd think. Men like to be mothered too much by women , and that immature crap drives women away.

Men are just more primal about sex. This is why gay males are so sexually outragious, lesbian females more enjoy the deeper, committed stuff.

Woman love sex, but in a more esoteric way. We see sex as some animal urge. We envy women, for the most part, but in our piggish ways, we have a hard time trying to prove it.

Prince calls that macho gas. hehe.


-----------

Feminism is a lot of things to different women. Sure, you have your pc wenches, but they are not THEE movement. Molly Ivins, who is as hard charging, beer swilling, foul mouthed as any male, is as feminist as the best MS. Magazine yuppietrix. Just like with religion, feminism has its cults and its actual beliefs--equity, fairness, the right to be sexual, but to not be seen as only sexual. A real feminist just wants the same shot any man gets.

Look at the nightly news and you will see how far feminism has failed, in certain ways. Those barbie doll, teleprompter readers that the networks always highlight are not there for their verbal skills. The cable news is also about as sexist as they get. Imagine a female O'Reilly Factor (the woman would have to be a superbitch--Camille Paglia, with the runs): There is no way the networks would have on some older woman doing a chat show. They want big tits, hot legs and faces that you can find in corporate manuals, on what they think female beauty is.

Woman have a right to be angry. If they denied men sex, they could rule the world.

A Wasted Mind
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:53 pm
Location: British Columbia

Postby A Wasted Mind » Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:15 pm

David Loftus wrote:Can we, with our collective experience, help illuminate Burgess a bit further for people (in particular, me) to read? I read Clockwork, of course, many years ago, and every once in a while I dip into Burgess with varying (but never negative) results.

Anyone have any recommendations?


I've not read nearly as much Burgess as I would like, and will be rectifying that over the next few months. He was a writer I read avidly and then set aside for less substantial reading when I started working twelve hour days a few years ago.

I recently re-read Any Old Iron, which I would describe as a Welsh Excalibur fantasy set in the period of WW1. His prose is shatteringly good, and his main characters always seem just on the verge of madness. The Long Day Wanes is a trilogy about Malyasia after the war; Burgess lived there for a time, and so in his books managed to exactly capture the way the different races and cultures interacted with one another.

One of the reasons I am delving back into his books is that in earlier readings I read only for the enjoyment and didn't spend any time looking deeper, and this is one author who deserves our full attention, in my opnion. For anyone who is interested in decoding him, a good place to start might be his autobiography, Little Wilson and Big God, which covers the first half of his life and is pretty revealing. It's also a terrifically entertaining book in its own right.

David W. Pareis
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:06 pm

Postby David W. Pareis » Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:43 pm

[quote="David Loftus"]Can we, with our collective experience, help illuminate Burgess a bit further for people (in particular, me) to read?
The wanting Seed
Nothing Like the Sun

David W. Pareis
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:06 pm

Postby David W. Pareis » Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:48 pm

Considering your interest in Shakespear the I would highly recomend Nothing Like the Sun

A Wasted Mind
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:53 pm
Location: British Columbia

Postby A Wasted Mind » Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:45 pm

Somewhere along the line my copy of Nothing like the Sun has disappeared. Time for a trip to the bookstore.

BrianSiano
Posts: 386
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 3:42 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Postby BrianSiano » Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:33 am

David Loftus, re Norah Vincent wrote:She's discovered some of the things I remember wrestling with back in college, when I was deeply interested in the women's movement but kept running into a few odd blind spots in their picture of reality, and that I discussed in my book.


Then the book's now on my read-soon list.

The quotes you cited touch on something that's always bugged me about the ostensible differences between boys and girls, i.e., the idea that girls are emotionally more complex or "mature" than boys. Not precisely true. People are _always_ pretty complicated. It's just that boys tend to not _want_ to have to anticipate thirty levels of ambiguity, or wallow in second-guessing of motive.

Some people would like to function in a place with mutual cooperation and clearly delineated objectives, and others would rather dwell among the cruel and capricious style-setters of the court of Louis XIV.



Sadly, I can easily imagine people denouncing its success because it "tells men what they want to hear."
"Everything... Everything... Everything gonna be all RIGHT this mornin'..."
-- Muddy Waters

Cary Bleasdale
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:50 am

Postby Cary Bleasdale » Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:40 am

Look at the nightly news and you will see how far feminism has failed, in certain ways. Those barbie doll, teleprompter readers that the networks always highlight are not there for their verbal skills.


The best critique of modern feminism is "Who Stole Feminism?" by Hoff Sommers. She proposes that Feminists are either Gender or Equity. Equity Feminists work towards real women's equality. A voting rights, ERA type movement. Gender Feminism, on the other hand, is close to Rush Limbaugh's "femi-nazi." The Dworkin-esque all-sex-is-rape-men-are-all-chavanist-pigs type. Quite frankly, the problem with much feminist literature is that is turns people off. Further, such a radical movement tends to stifle criticizism within itself. Many moderate or Equity Feminists find themselves violently attacked when they dare to disagree with the "mainstream" groups. Meanwhile, the feminist movement slips farther back as more and more people are ailienated by the radical wing of Feminism. Again, turn to the Civil Rights Era. Look at what happened to Civil Rights when the Black Panthers started. And look at what happened to feminism when the Gender Feminists took over.

Sorry Frank, but on this one, Feminists have no one to blame but themselves. I might really have more sympathy for their cause if I hadn't been chewed out by three or four 18 year old Third-wave feministas who had read "Our Blood" and decided that my penis made me evil. This was after I had the temerity to hold the door open for them (something I do, by the way, for men and women, without even thinking about it)
What's sad about this is that those people aren't the mass of Feminism. Most modern feminists are out, working for women's equality. Unfortunately, Paglia makes a much better news clip. And so you have people who think that all feminists are evil man hating bitches. These people, when confronted with an issue labeled "Feminist" are quite likely to vote no. Look at some of the people Pat Robertson has had on his show. Wendy Shallit and others who attack "feminism." When he says feminism its obvious what he means. Those man-hating bitches. Thats the assumed reaction of most people to that word, almost entirely as a result of second and third-wave feminists. If real feminsim wants to get anywhere, it should distance itself from that movement as quickly as possible. Till then....feminism will remain stalled, making little real progress, and alienating millions of allies.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:03 pm

But, if you notice, under pro-choice Presidents, abortion goes down, while under Bush and other right wing Presidents, abortion goes up. Birth control and sex education are the fruit that feminism has spawned.

Hoff Sommers is about as much of a fraud as you can get. She says that she is a "classic liberal," but works with the far right movement, in destroying any advantage woman have made. This is a criminally insane lady, who has said that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in war is a farce. I don't know where she gets her man hating stuff from, all the feminists I read of don't hate men. They don't trust all men's intentions, but that is smart. Men are known to be manipulative beasts. Woman do have a right to be pissed off.

The only reason feminism is seen in such a bad light is because of media and right wing smears or outright propaganda.

This is why I first found favor with Harlan. His stance for feminism and the Equal Rights Amendment was a good deal. Too bad the right had such control of the gears of power.

-----------

Cary, actually the left is doing quite well. Chomsky doesn't get standing room only crowds at his gigs by accident. The real left does it in the quiet world of obscurity, but they get a lot done. This is the country that fostered a massive anti-war rally, even before the actual war. A first.

The Daily Kos is the number one most visited blog and MichaelMoore.com gets about two million hits a day. That is no joke. That Nation has a higher circulation then both the National Review and the Weekly Standard, combined.

Greg Palast sold his new book by sheer grass roots activism alone. He was never promoted or featured on any major network or newspaper, or was his book reviewed--but he still went to number ten on the NY Times Best seller list.

The left is doing fine. Our main thing is getting the non-voters to vote. Pop culture and television tells them to stay on the couch and let their minds soak up the kool aid. A hard thing trying to undermine forty years of propaganda.

Cary Bleasdale
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:50 am

Postby Cary Bleasdale » Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:34 am

Greg Palast sold his new book by sheer grass roots activism alone. He was never promoted or featured on any major network or newspaper, or was his book reviewed--but he still went to number ten on the NY Times Best seller list.


Who went to Number one? hint. Her first name starts with A. Her last one starts with C.

My problem with the Left is that they are largely, at this point, impotent. And we have made no move towards getting our shit together. We remain the anti-Bush party, and, while that might be enough to win seats, you don't win ball games by playing defense.

First, we need a coherent platform. Second; we need to look at the issues that we fight for. Are we gonna put brakes on Big Business? Then lets explain to Joe Blow EXACTLY how thats gonna help. And, when its something that won't help his wallet, like an environmental issue, then lets throw in some things that will help him, like jobs being outsourced.

Second, we need to actually fight like Republicans. Send out attack ads. Lets paint THEM as the anti-Christians. Show their stance on war, on the poor, on the death penalty, on welfare, on personal responsibility as the bullshit it is. In a country where 80% identifies as Christian, and many moderate to Liberal Christians swing to the right because of hot button issues like Abortion, you have to play to the voters.

Third, the left needs to examine some already deeply held beliefs. You can, for instance, be a devout Christian who is: anti-war, anti-death penalty, anti-big business conglomeration, pro-environment, but still go right because you are pro-life. If anything, the author (an evangelical Christian who is also a progressive) says, the Left must be willing to back up on abortion, and admit out loud that abortion should not be as prevalent, that it should be rare, and only when needed. As many Liberals already do.

Finally, the Left really, really, really, needs to separate itself from the image many people have of a pro-communist, anti-soldier, anti-America, unpatriotic, psuedoelite who don’t understand the common man. Then, and only then, will you really win elections.

-------------------------------------

Hoff Sommers may be a nut. That doesn't mean she doesn't have a point. There are Gender and Equity Feminists. And Gender feminists are crazy, rabid, extremists who have a few loud talking points and tear your throat out if you disagree. And they give all feminists a bad name.

Further, she is right. Most women AREN'T gender feminsts. Most women want to be equal, whereas many Gender Feminist will claim that for true "equality" women must be dominant over men, as men were dominant over women. Thats what I call nuts.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:43 pm

Actually, if you look at public opinion, most Americans are not at all happy with big business. They usually want them taxed to the hilt. The left should use this tact, as well as promoting tax cuts for the working classes.


Return to “Pop Culture”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests