Advertisements

Tag Archives: reviews

A new and most exciting venture!

This is just to say that you shouldn’t read me HERE today. You should go read me ELSEWHERE. (Well, read this here, too, I mean, you’re already here, and all.)

See, for the past month or so I’ve totally been working on this project which is LIVE TODAY! Well, “live” is relative. It’s live now, but there’s not a hell of a lot on it. There will be soon, though.

I have officially started my own book review blog; all of my reviews will be there from now on, as will random other literary-related things as they strike my fancy. Will they strike my fancy? No idea. Fancies are strange like that. You can’t predict a fancy!

I guess you can predict a Cat Fancy; they're bound to have cat-related articles in them, right? Right.

I guess you can predict a Cat Fancy; they’re bound to have cat-related articles in them, right? Right.

What does this mean for YOU, my loyal Lucy’s Footballians?

Well, really, very little. You can choose to read my writing over there as well, or, if you have no interest in reviews and literary things, you can keep reading here; I promise I’ll be posting in both places. (Speaking of which, I even made up a SCHEDULE for posting over here this month for myself. Like a grownup LADY. I know! Impressive, right? It’s hanging in my kitchen next to a magnet making fun of Dubya. What, isn’t that a thing everyone has in their kitchen? ANYWAY, I totally have posting ideas for like a DOZEN posts at LEAST over here this month, so go go gadget me. Some are even – GASP! – humorous!)

So, if you’d like to be ahead of the curve and see what a blog with ZERO CONTENT looks like, you can go here and check it out (and follow it! And tell your friends! And totally give me a ticker-damn-tape-parade! What? That’s way too much to ask? FINE) and in about an hour, the first post will go up, And about an hour after THAT, the SECOND post will go up. You can follow it and get notifications, or get email telling you when new posts are up, or watch my Twitter timeline or my blog Facebook page or or or…you know. All the usual things one does to find out if I’ve posted, I suppose.

I hope you love it; I’m very excited about it, and have all kinds of plans and schemes for things I want to write over there. Stay tuned, jellybeans.

Oh, and in Lucy’s Football news, since this IS Lucy’s Football, after all: um, things are…well, the same. I decorated for Christmas; I am getting packages in the mail so I can send people their Christmas packages in (hopefully) a timely manner (two of them arrived today that are so perfect for the person they’re for I totally squeed upon opening the box); work is going well; Dumbcat has not gotten any more intelligent and as we speak is twitching in his sleep so I think he’s dream-fighting cat-ninjas.

NINJA CAT!

NINJA CAT!

I hope Dumbcat wins.

Dad bought a laptop with a camera in it; after I convinced him that blacking it out with a Sharpie was a bad idea (you know, because THE GOVERNMENT), I may have convinced him that once he gets to Florida for the winter he and I can talk! WITH our FACES! I can’t even imagine the adventures that will happen if that occurs. (He’s totally going to Florida for months on end this winter, like the old people do. He doesn’t like to be called the old people but he’s not reading this so I suppose I’m safe.) I told him he can also make amateur porn and he said “daughters aren’t supposed to say ‘amateur porn’ to their fathers” and I said “yeah, probably not” and he said, “but that was a good one” and I said “yeah, I know, that’s why I said it.”

So all’s well here. Busy busy busy. Christmas is a’comin’ and I want it to be so special for people this year and that doesn’t just happen, you know! Plans need to be made!

That is all, I think. So, if you are so inclined, pop on over to new-blog-land and give it a look-see, or a follow, and I promise to tell you about books both good AND bad, and hopefully add books to your to-be-read lists, and have all the fun. Or, if nothing else, keep track of what I’ve read, because I totally brought a book home from the library the other day? And I’d already read it. TRUE STORY!

See you soon. Elsewhere, perhaps!

This is totally going to be me to all the people over there. New or not. I'm just that excited. And now I want to watch "Up" again.

This is totally going to be me to all the people over there. New or not. I’m just that excited. And now I want to watch “Up” again.

Advertisements

Mom always told me my big mouth would get me in trouble someday.

“When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.” –Bette Davis

This week, I was VERY controversial.

I met with friends for dinner early in the week. When I arrived, J. said “I don’t know, should we be having dinner with such a controversial person?” and I was all, “Whaaa?” and they all giggled and then got serious faces because they assumed I’d heard and now they were tasked with letting me know what was up.

Heard what, you may ask? What exactly WAS up?

Well! Apparently, I angered some people with a review I wrote a couple of weeks ago. Angered them enough that I got two – count ’em, two – letters to the editor written about me, and a comment on the review itself, and a private message on Facebook.

Whoo! Look at me go! Angering people all OVER the region!

A little background, I suppose, is in order.

I went to the show. It starred some of the area’s best actors. The kind of actors that, when you say their names around here, people take notice. The set was gorgeous. The costumes were perfect. The acting was quite good; the direction couldn’t be faulted.

That having been said, it was the second-worst show I’ve seen all year. And I’ve seen a LOT of shows.

It was the show itself that was the problem. It was extremely dated; it had very little to do with anything contemporary, so it was very hard to relate to. It was abnormally long; almost three hours, including intermission. It was extremely talky; a good hour could have been cut from that script and not sacrificed a single bit of the action. Sorry – “action.” That needs ironic air-quotes. Nothing that could be described as action happened in this show. Like, at all. It was painful. I wanted to leave at intermission but I was getting paid to review it so that wasn’t an option.

VERY close to me during Act II. Not quite, but almost.

VERY close to me during Act II. Not quite, but almost.

I’m not saying I need, like, a shoot-out scene or a huge sex scene or anything. (Well, not EVERY time.) But something needs to HAPPEN, dammit. And nothing happened in this play. There were some scenes that I think were supposed to be shocking, but they were just yawn-inducing. Maybe they were shocking in the 30s when this was written, I don’t know. The characters were written so flimsily and ridiculously that only a couple of them were at all believable.

It was a TERRIBLE show. It wasn’t terribly acted, directed, set designed, or costumed (or even lit or sound designed); it was just a poorly-chosen show, and poorly-written, and it was so hard to watch.

Now, I realize this is just my opinion…and you know what they say about opinions, right? Yep. Just like…elbows. Yeah, that’s it. Elbows. Everyone has one. (Or two, really, if you’re going with the elbow thing.) Thing is, I get paid for my opinion.

I don’t like to be mean. I really think there’s something to be celebrated in every piece of work, no matter how much I dislike it. I wrote a review saying how much I liked and admired the actors, set, and costumes; I even gave the director kudos (although I did say he could have cut some of the script, for our sake.) I did, however, excoriate the script. Listen, I’ve read a lot of plays. I have a decent handle on what’s out there; I have a somewhat informed opinion. That’s why the paper hired me, and not some yahoo who’s never been to the theater before.

I ended the review with the following, which I think I can share without being fired for sharing something that you’re all supposed to pay for:

“It’s a shame that, with such powerful actors on stage, their talent is being wasted in such a lackluster play. With so many shows in the area currently in production, audiences are — and I say this with regret, as these actors alone are worth the ticket price — advised to give this one a pass.”

I’ve ended a number of reviews with a similar sentiment (as have other area reviewers) – either that I recommend the show, or I don’t. It’s usually clear, from my review, whether or not I actually SAY I recommend it or not, whether or not I do. (I think that’s the point of a review, isn’t it?)

Apparently, it’s this last paragraph that upset people.

The comment on the review said they “felt (my) review was unfair-especially your final comment” because it “probably kept many people from attending.”

The first letter to the editor said the author took “exception to one of (my) comments” because “(e)veryone has the right to their own opinion; however, to come out and tell people not to see a show is going too far. People should be able to read a review if they need to, and decide for themselves…a comment (like this is) hurtful and detrimental to the company.”

The other letter to the editor said (in short; it was a VERY long letter) “Amy…advises potential patrons to give it a pass. I disagree with that.” (She then went on and on about how flawed the script was, but that the show was so relatable, and then broke down my review point by point to say why she was right in her opinion and I was wrong.)

Oh, and I also got a private message from an aquaintance on Facebook, asking me to explain myself – why did I advise people to not attend a show he’d PERSONALLY enjoyed very much?

OK. Here’s the thing.

First: I didn’t write that review to hurt anyone. I actually went out of my way to NOT hurt anyone. The only one at fault was whoever chose the show, and a lot of factors go into choosing a show. I’m not going to pick those apart; I wasn’t part of that selection process.

I stand by that last paragraph. I couldn’t recommend the show. (And I’m not naming names, but I spoke to a number of theater friends who saw the show over the couple weeks it was playing. Not a single one recommended it, either. And I got thanks – thanks for writing a review of a terrible show in such a way that it highlighted the positive, and didn’t hurt anyone. I take their praise over these letters any day. They matter to me. A great deal. These letters? Meh.)

When you read a review – a movie review, a theater review, a book review – do you read it thinking it’s an encyclopedia entry? Or do you (as you should) read it thinking it’s the author’s opinion, and when you see/read what’s being reviewed, your opinion might differ? As it’s an opinion? And what worked for one person might not work for another?

As I said, I’ve said “I do recommend this show” or “I don’t recommend this show” before. As have other reviewers. (And I don’t want to play the sexism card, here, but I’ve seen a lot more Letters to the Editor/mean comments on the reviews written by the female reviewers in the area than on the reviews of the male reviewers – and there are two, maybe three, female reviewers in the WHOLE AREA and, oh, I don’t know, maybe a dozen or more male reviewers – I just have to think that maybe men having opinions, that’s ok, but women? GAH WHAT DO STUPID CHICKS KNOW WITH THEIR STUPID CHICK BRAINS.) I don’t see anyone complaining when I DO recommend a show. So I’m allowed to recommend a show – because that INCREASES their box office – but I can’t NOT recommend a show, because that would DECREASE their box office. Because people are JUST THAT STUPID. They will read my review and walk, all zombie-like, to the theater…or they will STAY FAR AWAY.

Listen. I worked at a local theater for 8 years. We weathered both good and bad reviews. Did they have an effect our box office? Sometimes, yes. An excellent review got more people in; a bad review did tend to keep some people away. But that’s just the way the game is played. Sometimes the reviewer has an axe to grind; sometimes the reviewer only likes comedies or dramas; sometimes the reviewer is just extremely negative all the time; sometimes you luck out, and the reviewer loves the show, and you read it and you just grin. It’s just a review, in the grand scheme of things, really. It’s a quick flame of either helpful or hurtful.

But these letters and comments and private messages…

Listen, people. It was my opinion. As I say, I stand by this opinion. If I had it to do all over again? I’d write it exactly the same. (And, just so you know, my editor read that review, and ran it exactly as I wrote it. She had no problem with it, either.) Amy the reviewer couldn’t recommend that show; Amy the PERSON couldn’t recommend that show. If I’d just seen it for fun, I wouldn’t have recommended it to people. To be honest, I texted a friend while the show was in intermission who I knew was trying to find a way to squeeze it into his schedule with “DO NOT SEE THIS. DO NOT DO THIS TO YOURSELF. TALK TO YOU MORE ABOUT IT WHEN I SEE YOU ON MONDAY. DO NOT DO NOT DOOOO NOOOOOT.” And that was Amy the person, not Amy the reviewer.

I could have left that last paragraph out. Sure I could have. Thing is? Not to be too horn-tooty, people, but I’m a decent writer, and from the rest of the review, you’d know exactly where I stood. I came out and said I couldn’t recommend the show, but without saying it, I said it all through the rest of the review. That last paragraph was really just a summation of what came before. Take umbrage with it if you must, but the rest of the review said the same thing. Also? If you want a rainbows and sunshine review, and the show’s not (in my, as stated, OPINION) good? You’re not getting that from me. I don’t lie. Even if I have people I care about in the show, which has happened in the past. I will not lie in my reviews. It’s a promise I made to myself when I started, and it’s a promise I have vowed to keep to myself. I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the eye if there was something published in the paper I didn’t 100% stand behind.

And, much as I have the right to my opinion, those people all have a right to theirs. I’m so very glad they enjoyed the show; I have to say I can’t exactly understand HOW they did, but I do understand that everyone’s respective cranks are turned in different ways, and this show turned theirs, and it left mine completely frozen in place. (THE CRANK IS NOT A EUPHEMISM.)

However: I do believe I’m completely in the right, as a reviewer, to say IN THE REVIEW that I recommend or don’t recommend a show. How this affects your ticket sales is not on my shoulders. As a friend who will not be named said when I told him this story: “If you don’t want bad reviews? STOP PRODUCING CRAP.”

Also, I’m pretty sure once you start getting hate mail, you’ve totally made it, right? I’m a wicked big deal now, yo. Look out, world, I’m like the next Michiko Kakutani. It’s only upward from here. Today hate mail, tomorrow LETTER BOMBS. Whoo-hoo!


I have not been kidnapped by pirates. I promise.

This is a brief check-in so you don’t think I’m dead.

*checks*

Nope, not dead.

Maybe MOSTLY dead. But not all the way!

Maybe MOSTLY dead. But not all the way!

It’s a busy couple of weeks here, which just kicked off on Thursday. I might be running around like a crazyperson until mid-October, so I can’t plan anything (including blogging, sadly.) They’re all good things, and fun things, and things I’m very much looking forward to, but there are a LOT of things.

So, this past week, I reviewed a show (and had a very nice dinner with my friend K., in which we caught up and laughed and ate and solved all the world’s problems. YOU ARE WELCOME, WORLD. Expect my invoice in the mail in the next 2-4 weeks.) The paper I write for is still having technical difficulties, so you can read my review for free. I saw Les Mis. It wasn’t a flawless production (but it wasn’t the worst production I’ve ever seen, either…so not a complete waste of time. I do so enjoy “On My Own.” And hearing “to love another person is to see the face of God” always gives me chills.)

Then Friday, Cousin S. came to visit! We had a weekend of ADVENTURE and TALKING and MORE ADVENTURE. We ate all the food (sushi and popcorn and Cheesecake Factory and waffles!) and toured Albany and saw a movie (Don Jon, which was really very good, if you like naughtiness and Joseph Gordon Levitt, both of which we do) and I introduced her to Veronica Mars (which she loved, yay! Excellent taste, that woman. It must be hereditary.) And we talked and talked and talked. We had many years of talking to catch up with. I think we did that admirably. Then, after she left, I took a three-hour nap. WHO DOES SUCH A THING. It was not planned to be that long. I had a headache and I was like, let’s just curl up for a bit, see if we can get this to back off! and then the next thing I knew, it was dinnertime. What the hell?

I don't like cheesecake. I got this thing called Blackout Cake. One slice was the size of my damn head. I could not even finish it. True story.

I don’t like cheesecake. I got this thing called Blackout Cake. One slice was the size of my damn head. I could not even finish it. True story.

And ALSO, this weekend, I was Freshly Pressed for the second (I KNOW!) time! So the phone went off and off and OFF with comments and likes and reblogs and such and Cousin S. was like YOUR PHONE! IT IS BLOWING UP! and I was like, yes, blogging, it is a strange and demanding mistress. The WordPress people contacted me on Monday to tell me they were Freshly Pressing the blog I wrote last week about meeting up with Josh last weekend, and I could not have been more pleased. What a great post to choose, and what an honor for them to choose me again. So! Some of you are most likely new people. Hello, new people! I am so pleased you are here. Please always feel free to comment, and if you are confused and would like to know what the hell’s going on here (I don’t know what’s going on here a lot of the time, to be honest) you can check out my About page, or the Frequently Asked Questions page. And just a warning, usually I’m goofy. SOMETIMES I’m serious, but seriously, usually I’m very random and goofy. So if you hate such things, no harm, no foul, I suppose.

VERY EXCITING!

VERY EXCITING!

This week is INSANE. I’m seeing three plays (and reviewing two), going to dinner with friends, working 6 days, getting a haircut, bringing the car to the garage because I think it’s about to die, and Mom and Dad are coming to visit because I AM ALMOST A YEAR OLDER. Yes! It is true! With the advent of October, it is almost AMY-MONTH! Shush, I totally get a whole month, don’t you get a whole month when it’s YOUR birthday? Well, if you don’t, you should, sheesh. We are officially 8 days from my birthday. This year I sadly have to work on my birthday, because later in the week I’ll be taking six days off to take a trip to Virginia! IT IS ALMOST VIRGINIA-TIME!!!

BIRTHDAY MONTH!!!

BIRTHDAY MONTH!!!

Now it is bedtime, because I have a Stephen King book that is crying out “Amy! READ ME!” and you know, I kind of want to do that. This is the longest I’ve gone without having my nose stuck in a new Stephen King book in my whole LIFE. If I don’t hurry up, I just know some internet asshat is going to spoil it for me, and then I will have to go POSTAL on them and who wants THAT to happen? No one. I mean, sincerely.

Happy Monday, all. I hope your weekends were full of adventure and mystery and wonder and joy. If they weren’t, there’s always next weekend, right? Right.


Goodreads; Badcensorship.

Some of you may know that as well as blogging about whatever the hell tickles my fancy over here, I also review books. Yes! It is true! To hell with you, all the kids that mocked me for reading too much in school; I’ve made a nice little lucrative (in a non-paying sense) career out of it on my beloved interwebs! I have two places that allow me to spew my book-related thoughts whenever I feel the need; Insatiable Booksluts and Snobbery. It’s the perfect gig for me; no deadlines, I get to read what I want, and I get to tell people about amazing (or, at times, NOT-amazing) books that I come across (and there’s nothing happier for a reader than when you recommend a book to the faceless masses and someone takes your recommendation, reads the book, and loves it as much as you do. It’s an amazing feeling.)

However, there are some books that I read that, for whatever reason, don’t make it to either site, Either I didn’t like them well enough to write a full review of them, or they just don’t fit either site. For those books, I write a quick review at Goodreads.

Goodreads is perfect for me; I can keep track of what I’m reading, I can socialize with other readers, and I can write quick reviews of books that don’t deserve the full-review treatment. This is as much for me as for everyone else. I read a lot, and I like to keep track of what I read. I used to have a spreadsheet, but I lost track of that when it got insanely long. I like the graphic aspect of Goodreads, as well – sometimes I don’t remember the title of a book, but I remember the cover. I can just scan through what I’ve read lately and pick it out of the list.

I’m not a rabble-rouser over there. I know there ARE rabble-rousers; trolls who do various things like bait authors into getting into fights, or bait other reviewers, or if – GASP! – you disagree with their evaluation of a book, call you names. NAMES! Can you even IMAGINE the HORROR!

I don’t get involved in the drama. I don’t care for that nonsense. I’m there to write reviews so people can make educated decisions of books before they purchase or read them, and for my own records. That’s all. That’s it.

Recently, Amazon purchased Goodreads. There was a LOT of uproar over this. Up until this point, Goodreads was an independent site for readers. How would the biggest online bookseller owning the site change things? People threatened to leave, and people left, and people moaned, and people groaned.

I’m a big Amazon fan (although I’m not blind to their issues; I just like their prices and convenience.) I decided to wait it out.

Well, Goodreads dropped the hammer last weekend. I assume only the first hammer. We are, I would guess, going to be nailed with so many hammers in the coming months that we’re going to want a platinum umbrella when we visit the site.

Right before leaving for the weekend, they put up the following announcement, but they didn’t make it obvious; they put it up in the forums, where as few people would see it as possible.

In case you don’t feel like clicking, here are some of the highlights:

“**Delete content focused on author behavior. We have had a policy of removing reviews that were created primarily to talk about author behavior from the community book page. Once removed, these reviews would remain on the member’s profile. Starting today, we will now delete these entirely from the site. We will also delete shelves and lists of books on Goodreads that are focused on author behavior. If you have questions about why a review was removed, send an email to support@goodreads.com. (And to answer the obvious question: of course, it’s appropriate to talk about an author within the context of a review as it relates to the book. If it’s an autobiography, then clearly you might end up talking about their lives. And often it’s relevant to understand an author’s background and how it influenced the story or the setting.)”

“To clarify, we haven’t deleted any book reviews in regard to this issue. The key word here is “book”. The reviews that have been deleted – and that we don’t think have a place on Goodreads – are reviews like “the author is an a**hole and you shouldn’t read this book because of that”. In other words, they are reviews of the author’s behavior and not relevant to the book. We believe books should stand on their own merit, and it seems to us that’s the best thing for readers.

“Someone used the word censorship to describe this. This is not censorship – this is setting an appropriate tone for a community site. We encourage members to review and shelve books in a way that makes sense for them, but reviews and shelves that focus primarily on author behavior do not belong on Goodreads. 

“Some people are perhaps interpreting this as you can’t discuss the author at all. This couldn’t be further from the case. The author is a part of the book and can certainly be discussed in relation to the book. But it has to be in a way that’s relevant to the book. Again, let’s judge books based on what’s inside them.

“Some people are concerned about their “not-interested” shelf or variants of that. We are not deleting those; you are free to keep cataloging books that way. We are deleting shelves like “author-is-a-jerk”, as they don’t fit our guiding principle that the book page be about the book.”

“Thank you for all the comments so far. One concern that has come up in this thread is that the content was deleted without those members first being told that our moderation policy had been revised. 

“In retrospect, we absolutely should have given users notice that our policies were changing before taking action on the items that were flagged. To the 21 members who were impacted: we’d like to sincerely apologize for jumping the gun on this. It was a mistake on our part, and it should not have happened.

“Anyone else with reviews or shelves created prior to September 21, 2013 that will be deleted under the revised policy will be sent a notification first and given time to decide what to do.”

OK, so let’s see what’s up here.

  • We’re no longer allowed to discuss authors when reviewing books. I know this SAYS it’s ok if it’s relevant to the book; we’ll discuss that in a minute.
  • Any reviews violating this rule will be deleted.
  • Any shelves labeled offensively toward the author? Also deleted.
  • Goodreads will be making these decisions. How? Arbitrarily, it seems.

Goodreads went around deleting things before even telling anyone they were doing it. They say it was only 21 people; more than 21 people are reporting it happened to them. Who’s to say who’s telling the truth, here? The big, bad company, now owned by Amazon, or people who aren’t getting paid and just love to read and write reviews?

Here’s my issue.

I understand if you review a memoir or an autobiography or sometimes even a collection of personal essays you’re probably going to have to touch on the author. Goodreads states very clearly here they won’t censor that (HA HA IT’S NOT CENSORSHIP! says Goodreads! We’re just telling you what you can and can’t say or do, and what to think! IT WAS A PLEASURE TO BURN!) but who knows what they’ll do. If they find it offensive, it’s gone.

It’s a nice thing, to say the author and his or her behavior and personal beliefs have nothing to do with a book; that it’s easy, just judge a book on the content, not the author. It’s an easy thing to say. It must be nice to live in such a black-and-white world.

However, I just read Ender’s Game.

And I can’t, in good conscience, review Ender’s Game on Goodreads.

Because I cannot, utterly cannot, divorce Ender’s Game from the beliefs of its author, Orson Scott Card. It would be a betrayal of my own beliefs, and a betrayal of a number of people I care about a great deal.

Would my review, among a veritable sea of reviews for the book (which was written in 1985) be a drop in the ocean? No. Not at all. But I don’t betray myself, not if I can help it.

So I’m going to review Ender’s Game here, because this is a safe place, and no one’s muzzling me on my own blog.

And as for Goodreads? I’ll continue using it, unless someone creates something comparable. There’s not another site out there that has the same functionality. But I think they need to stop fooling themselves: this is censorship, pure and simple. Not telling us what the rules are – or telling us, but not playing by them – and arbitrarily deleting our hard work because it doesn’t fit your rules, whatever they might be – this is censorship. Whether or not this was dictated by Amazon – my guess is yes, because it’s not good for a bookseller to have someone give bad reviews of books or authors, now, is it? – is irrelevant. We’re no longer welcome to share our real thoughts on things.

This scares the hell out of me, to be honest. To just do something like this, and think it’s ok? And to say no, no, this is not censorship?

Such a pleasure to burn.

I just finished Ender’s Game. Ender’s Game was a really wonderful book. I immediately got caught up in the story. I didn’t know what was going to happen; somehow, a book that’s almost thirty years old wasn’t spoiled for me, even though it’s a cult classic. There were two points at which I had actual tears.

Then what’s the problem, Amy? I can hear you asking. It was a good book! Yay! The world needs more of these!

The problem is that the author is a loathsome homophobe, and I can’t reconcile that with this book. It was bothering me the entire time I was reading.

Orson Scott Card doesn’t just disapprove of same-sex marriage and homosexuality. Orson Scott Card wants to BRING DOWN ANY GOVERNMENT THAT ALLOWS SUCH AN ABOMINATION. I wish I was kidding.

He also:

    • is a member of the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), on whose agenda are things such as fighting against marriage equality, gay adoption, safe schools for LGBT students and the gay “lifestyle” as a whole;
    • has called same-sex attraction “reproductive dysfunction”
    • stated “Normalizing a dysfunction will only make ours into a society that corrodes any loyalty to it, as parents see that our laws and institutions now work against the reproductive success (not to mention happiness) of the next generation”
    • has equated homosexuality with pedophilia, and stated, “The dark secret of homosexual society — the one that dares not speak its name — is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally”
    • wrote a lengthy essay titled “The Hypocrites of Homosexuality” in which he admonishes gay people as nothing more than people who are giving in to sin and states that anti-sodomy laws should remain on the books, making homosexuality illegal in the U.S.

In 1985, he wrote a beautiful book about, among other things, a child forced to grow up far too quickly, and the grownups around him who use him as a blunt weapon for their own ends. Ironically, he also loaded it with homosexual subtext. But hey, it’s much easier to be shouty about the HORROR! the HORROR! of teh EVIL GAYZ! than to deal with whatever he has going on in his own closet.

I can’t reconcile this book with this hate speech. This really is a beautiful book. It’s full of huge thoughts and themes. It’s kind of groundbreaking; I could name a ton of books that have taken the lead from what happened in this book. The characters were fully-fleshed and relatable. I loved Ender. Utterly adored him.

But the man that wrote it hates some of the people I love more than anyone in the world. And he’s loud about it. And the last thing we need in this day and age is someone who had a podium and had the nation’s ear (the movie of this book is coming out in a couple of months) shouting hate-speech.

The book was about how we ill-use our children; I’d argue that teaching them hate from a young age is ill-using them, Mr. Card.

I won’t be reading the rest of the series. This book ended perfectly. I don’t need any more of his books. I just can’t divorce the author from the work. It hurts to do so.

I’m glad I met Ender. And, for what it’s worth? He’d find his creator’s views repulsive. The character you created, sir, has more compassion and character than you do. And he’s fictional. Do you see the problem here?

(For more on the Goodreads controversy, please read sj’s take, This is Me. Getting involved., Emma Wolf’s take, Where capitalism and art intersect, and Charleen’s take, Goodbye to Goodreads?)

Sources:

Orson Scott Card’s Anti-Gay Views Prompt ‘Ender’s Game’ Movie Protest (Huffington Post)
Ender’s Game, Superman and Anti-Gay Bigotry (Huffington Post)


Royal Rumpus, Day Five: Selling crazy somewhere else and what, exactly, I’ll do for pageviews. No, not that. Ew.

Well, we made it to the weekend. We ALSO made it to the LAST THREE DAYS OF BLOGGIVERSARY WEEK! Whew, home stretch now, kiddos. Deep breaths. Deeeeep breaths.

I am very pleased with the weekend ahead of me. No part-time job; wedding shower for friend K. tomorrow; shopping and writing and reading and staying up late and sleeping in and television-watching and all good things. It’s my last full weekend off until the end of July so I’m living it up, baby. Also, I’m totally going to buy some cute shoes. LIKE A GIRL. But they will have no heel and be practical. LIKE A GROWN-ASS WOMAN. I’m an enigma. Don’t try to pin me down!

This is the type of shoe I favor from April to October every year, pretty much. Practical yet cute. Yep. That's me.

This is the type of shoe I favor from April to October every year, pretty much. Practical yet cute. Yep. That’s me.

(Side note: when I told Dad I was going shoe-shopping, he said, in a horrified tone, “You’ll be sure they’re not SLIPPERY shoes, right?” “What are you implying, beloved father?” I asked him. “Um. Just that…well, you in shoes that are slippery…could be catastrophic…because of falling…” “I’m a walking disaster zone. Just say it,” I said. “Well. Maybe a little,” Dad conceded. I assured him that every pair of shoes I’d ever purchased in the past ten years, no matter how cute and girly on top, had very practical rubbery/sneakery soles. “That’s smart,” Dad said. “Yes. I know my limitations,” I replied.)

So, what shall we talk about today? What sarcastic wisdom shall I pass down to you, oh readers of the Football?

Today, gleaned from two years of blogging goodness, let’s talk about…

Here Be Crazies

And also dragons. Also maybe dragons. One can never tell, on the interwebs.

And also dragons. Also maybe dragons. One can never tell, on the interwebs.

OK, you know how old people are all, “You’d never catch me on the intertubes. Because of the crazymurderers. That’s where the crazymurderers hang out. They would stab you in the eyeball if you talked to them.” (It doesn’t have to be crazymurderers. It could also be sexmurderers or pornomurders or stabmurderers. It’s usually something velcroed to “murderers,” though.)

Well, I’m happy to report I have not yet met a stab/crazy/sex/pornomurderer yet on the interweb. I think that might be a little old-person overkill. Just a little. Plus it doesn’t help that there are all those Dateline and 20/20 episodes about people being sex-trolled or killed by internet denizens. Old people get scared by such things. (Hell, *I* get scared by such things, if I watch them right before bed. I always imagine there’s a stabmurderer in my closet. *shudder* It’s mostly the announcer’s voices that get to me. They’re all rumbly bass and creepy as shit like a horror movie.)

However, there are a lot of people on the internet. And, just like in real life, some of those people you’re going to connect with, some of those people you’re not going to connect with, and some of those people are…um. Well, some of those people have…what I would nicely describe as a tenuous grip on reality.

Hi. Hi. HI. HI HI HI HI HI LOVE ME LOVE ME HI HI HI HIIIIII!I!I1

But here’s the thing. THEY don’t think they’re holding onto reality by finger- and toenails. They think they’re FINE. And when you don’t engage with their particular brand of…whatever it is they’re doing…they don’t take the rejection well. No, not well at all.

I’m not going to go into personal detail, because a., that’s tacky, and b., I know for a fact that some of these people still read my blog and make passive-aggressive comments about me elsewhere. And you know what? Cool. That’s cool. If that helps you sleep at night, go to. I know I sleep better at night knowing I no longer engage with your particular brand of lunacy all up in my face on a regular basis; so if for whatever reason you feel the need to blast about me on the internet, have at it. Once and a while I see these things and I have a momentary flash of “I SHOULD DEFEND MYSELF!” but it passes. Because hanging onto that for this long…well, it’s not healthy. But you know what? It’s cool. I can’t say I wish you well, but I can say I wish you to get well.

As a blogger, you put yourself out there. You make friends. That’s the good part. You make honest, true friends. Real friends. People who would, at a moment’s notice, go to the mat for you. Without a second thought. I’ve been humbled time and again by the selfless actions of some of my friends I’ve met through blogging. You also build a community – maybe not close friends, but allies. Like-minded individuals. The crazy people are few and far between. And you meet them in real life, too. It’s just on the internet, they’re a little more concentrated. And they don’t seem to know when to stop.

They seem to have a little Bachmann-crazy going on. Very avid. Worrisome.

They seem to have a little Bachmann-crazy going on. Very avid. Worrisome.

Andreas and I talked about this when we met in New York in March. Up until that point, we had both been just internet people, you know? Albeit very close internet people. We discussed the craziness on the interwebs, as we know some of the same people. “People are very lonely,” Andreas said, very wisely. “And they don’t know how to relate to people. And they don’t realize how they’re coming across. I mean, we’re all a little weird. But some people are a little…well, MORE weird.”

(Andreas has the best advice and/or observations, seriously. He’s my go-to when I need someone to set me straight on something. Well, let’s be honest, he’s my go-to for just about everything, because he’s one of my dearest friends in all the world. But when it comes to advice, he’s pretty unparalleled.)

It all boils down to this. You’ll relate to some people you meet online; you won’t relate to others. You cannot take this shit personally. Unless they start making it personal, of course – trolling you, threatening you, being way too personal and/or creepy with you – anything that makes you feel uncomfortable – none of that is ok, and of course that’s personal. If it’s a low-grade annoyance, just cut it off and let it go. If it’s a bigger scale thing – well, still cut it off. Still let it go. Do it as well as you can. The other person is not likely to take it well; that’s a risk you run. However, it’s either that, or that person is in your life, well, forever, and maybe you can be BFFs for LIFE with this person, which I think you can agree is not the best option? So it’s best to end it, whatever way you need to do that. Just try to be classy, if you can? Classiness is best. Always. Except for when you’re eating ribs. Then it’s every woman for herself.

Om nom nom.

Om nom nom.

(Also, and this might be just me, but if you hurt one of my friends, you’re pretty much dead to me. I just want to put that out there. My friends are very important to me, and I’m very loyal to them. If you aren’t careful with their heart? I no longer want to know you. Sorry. There are, of course, exceptions to that rule; if I’m friends with members of a couple separately before they get together, and they break up, I could potentially stay friends with them both after the breakup. But those exceptions are few and far between. So be as careful with my friends’ hearts as you are with mine, current and potential friends. Warning delivered.)

And of course watch out for the stabmurderers in your closet, because what a way to go that’d be, right?

OK, let’s see. THIRD-most popular post on the Football, here, over the past two years. This one was where I did something PERSONALLY PAINFUL for HUMOROUS RESULTS. No, not the time I blogged about going to see the gynecologist. Although that was not funtimes, either, for me OR my ladybits.

So! The THIRD-MOST POPULAR POST…

…over the past two years…

…with 884 hits in the past little-less-than-a-year…

Yep, you got it. It is “Truly, I am a marionette, and he is a master puppeteer.”

OMG THIS IS A THING MY EYES MY EYEEEESSSSS

OMG THIS IS A THING MY EYES MY EYEEEESSSSS

I totally suffered through the first book in the 50 Shades trilogy for you guys. And look, apparently it was ALL WORTH IT! It’s ALL FOR THE INTERNETTY LOVE, BABY!

(Yet, not enough to read the other two books. Sorry, guys, apparently I’m slightly masochistic, but not masochistic enough to force myself through two more books of that garbage.)

Apparently, this post made you guys laugh. A lot. And I do so like to make you laugh. So, thanks for that. It made suffering through “arghs” and inner goddess monologues and “laters, baby” totally worth it.

Well, mostly.

Back tomorrow. What WILL our top two posts be? Are you totally on pins and needles here? If so, get off those, you’ll get tetanus. Happy Saturday, my little cheese doodles.


%d bloggers like this: