Archive for November, 2012|Monthly archive page

Fifty Shades of Cray

In Angreads: Reading Mixed With Anger, Books on November 15, 2012 at 10:16 am

Recent Headlines: ‘Woman Divorces Husband For Not Being Sexy Enough, After Reading 50 Shades Of Gray’ ‘Fifty Shades Of Gray Now Grounds for Divorce’ 

most un-sexual category ever!

Okay. I’ve made it this far without commenting on ‘Fifty Shades Of Gray’. I hate to give it another second of attention, because I haven’t been as turned OFF to a book since Oprah’s Book Club hi-jacked decent books, years after their release- and slapped her reverend- like praise all over their covers.  (The only thing worse are movie-adaption covers which should be avoided at all costs. Even on e-books.) 

But now that the book is being cited in actual divorce proceedings…..I’ll reluctantly throw my two cents in.

Before ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ hit the shelves, the book that affected me with such visceral loathing was ‘The Secret’, released in 2006, and touted on Oprah.

‘The Secret’ basically rewarded materialistic people with their own bible of affirmations, not only patting them on the back for being so shallow, but encouraging them to create home-made ‘storyboards’ covered with all of the ‘stuff’ they desired, kind of like a cutesy shopping list for the Universe-(the part of the Uni where wishes go! Wink-wink!) A cardboard Pinterest board, if you will.. Suddenly adult women were sitting cross-legged on the floor, snipping out pictures of cars and shoes from Cosmo and In-Touch, and pasting them onto construction paper in all seriousness. It was embarrassing to watch.

Oprah must have wished for photoshop!

Which brings me to ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’. I can’t tell you how relieved I am that Oprah no longer has her afternoon talk show because I can only imagine the ‘Fifty Shows’ this book would have spawned (and is there any doubt whatsoever that ‘Fifty Shades’ would have been in Oprah’s Book Club?) There would have been the Sex Therapist show, The Sex-Toy show, The Cougar/Pool Boy show, The Frigid Wife-and-or-Husband Workshop, S & M Demonstrations, Real Life Single Billionaire shows, Dr. Oz’s Best Vitamins For Sex show, the cast of ‘Girls’ as Sex Correspondents- on and on ad- nauseam. Then the clips from these shows would spread like the flu, infecting us all.

most awkward Oprah Book-Club ever- and I watched the James Frey one!

But that isn’t even the worst part (perhaps only because none of it happened) In fact, the absolute worst thing about ‘Fifty-Shades Of Grey’ has nothing to do with sex whatsoever. It’s really about THE BAD WRITING, the ridiculous, one dimensional characters and the incredulous plotlines! The fact that so many people who DON’T NORMALLY READ- read this book, and rather than laugh at the lame idea of a handsome, 27 year old BILLIONAIRE as the main character (what are we, twelve?) and the ‘quiet, bookworm’ of a sex-student (do most women see themselves this way despite the fact that so few are even reading? And  isn’t the idea that this guy is a billionaire really what’s making their panties damp?)

I’ve witnessed countless ‘intelligent’ people reading these books, never once even mentioning the bad writing! In fact, many ripped through all three in the series with laser speed. And this rewards an author who turned a Twilight-like YA Vampire book into a  last minute sex romp in a rewrite, spawning a bestseller that has sold a staggering amount of copies.

Which brings us to another problem and it’s that I’m really freakin’ jealous. What aspiring writer wouldn’t be?  It’s the kind of jealousy that mixes with a dull ache, like when you read that the Kardashian’s made 50 million dollars last week,  or when someone in the newspaper wins the Powerball and it isn’t you. It all seems so……depressing? (And yet no-one stopped me from writing a mediocre bodice ripper, except maybe embarrassment, which unbeknownst to me, might have turned into an embarrassment of riches!) 

so much for my theory about where the most intelligent people I know live…

 The ‘wild’ sex scenes seemed typical of  experimentation done by everyone in their early twenties (without all the bells and whistles, billionaire accouterments, and weirdo dynamics)  with a sadly naive young woman, who I’m pretty sure could be sold the Brooklyn Bridge in less than a minute. After all, she was sold the idea that an abusive boyfriend is a good thing- as long as he’s a white billionaire and good looking (and evidently, hundreds of thousands of our fellow female citizens are buying into this bull shiz- touting it even! Can you say ‘dumbing down?’)

 The truth is- I guess I’d rather people be reading anything, than nothing at all. However,  if you’re citing this book as an actual reason that your relationships aren’t working out-just stop. You might as well blame Harry Potter….and my God, at least the writing is better!


My Hometown Brawl

In Should I Even Be Talking About This? on November 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Raging Bulls***!

There are specialty and fan-pages everywhere online-and today I take into consideration the hometown ‘reminiscing’ pages. They focus on a single town and reminisce. Got it?

These pages deal in nostalgia – old stomping grounds,old schools (literally), first cars, first loves- that kind of thing. People sometimes post pictures from back in the day, (hands down, the best part of these pages) and it’s overall an enjoyable experience, that is, until it’s not. There are certain traits to these pages that I believe can be improved upon.  I’ve lived in several different states and towns and thus have checked out lots of hometown pages, and I’m convinced that they are all the same.

‘There’s no place like home! Now go blog about it, dear!’

The first thing that makes me fidget are the titles: ‘If You Were Really From town name ,You’d Know old drug store here.’ Which makes me wonder: is anyone out there under the impression that people are lying about being from your  particular hometown? Are spot quizzes presented at traffic stops and civic meetings, wherein a person’s ‘sham’ might be revealed-that in fact, this person is not really from this town? (Perhaps, just perhaps…you’re flattering yourself?)

Although I loved my hometown (much more in retrospect) I didn’t go around studying it, and in fact, I clearly remember- as a typical teenager -wishing I lived somewhere else most of the time!

“You’re being pulled over for failure to accurately state your hometown, then prove it by taking a quiz. I’ll need to see your Birth Certificate, please….”

Let’s move on to memories. I recently read a post wherein people were discussing a deceased teacher. Some of the comments included ‘She hid a vodka bottle in her desk drawer’, ‘She was always drunk’ ‘My mother said she came from a family of alcoholics’ ‘That’s so sad’ and was followed by ‘RIP Mrs. So-and-So’

Now- without going all Harper Valley PTA on your a**,  is it really okay to talk about the dead like this-especially with the whole ‘glass house’ rule in effect?? Are you sure these are memories and not just conjecture, or rumor? Do you understand that this woman may have family that would not want to hear their loved one being so disrespected? Would you want your relatives remembered this way, or would you throw a fit, because after all- your family is special coz you’re so special! 

Here’s a thought: How about have some respect?! And don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth with the R.I.P after you’ve completely annihilated a person’s memory. Whether true or not, the person’s dead-and can’t refute your vitriolic rants. Hopefully no one will return the favor when one of your relatives bite the dust. Or you!

not so sure about slander….

There is the undeniable need to feel important on these pages. Anyone who has ever had the slightest-and I mean slightest! brush with ‘fame’ comes running out of the woodwork like it’s 1963 and the Beatles are in town, everyone clamoring to the front of the stage, screaming, bragging.  

Example: Let’s say there’s a woman who worked on the set of Captain Kangaroo in the 60’s.(I’m totally making this up) Once a grainy picture of her is posted- and her ‘fame connection’ is revealed, all kinds of locals begin frantically trying to tie their wagons to this dust speck in history.

“My father dated her in high school’ ‘My uncle sold her the wood used to create the backdrop’ “My brother fixed Mr. Greenjeans car’.. No matter how trivial the brush of fame is, people must brag, and tussle for the front of the line.  It’s easy to see how celebrity has a such a hold on this country (unfortunately)- it’s the one thing  people will step all over each other to be a part of. What’s weird is that people actually crow about the set director on Captain Kangaroo (and even fight about it!) The question remains: Is this the best you’ve got?

Aren’t we all?

I don’t want to spend much time on this next one – but the spelling! Good God, the spelling! Not a very good reflection on the school systems of said towns (which, ironically- are bragged about, and compared to the inferior schools of today). It’s mind-blowing to to see the degree to which basic skills that have gone unlearned! ‘Your’ and ‘You’re’ stump entire generations. ‘I’ before ‘E’ except after ‘C?'(for the most part but not always)- never heard of it. ‘They’re’ ‘Their’ and ‘There’-obviously too complicated. I can’t even begin to do a sweep of the rampant misspellings that take over from ‘their’ (see what I did they’re?)

And the fights! I’ve seen people get into fights on these sites about everything from the location or name of an old store or bar, (which is obviously worth coming unhinged over) to a real or imagined slight. Often times these fights turn derogatory, citing race, religion and politics- complete with name calling and bystanders taking sides. Human nature at its worst! Who would want to admit to the same upbringing as these people?

It’s ironic that searching for a picture of an old high school hang-out can turn into seeing older people act just like they did in high school. Is it a wonder that there is no peace in the world? People can’t seem to get along at home, in traffic, at work, in public places, on the internet! No one can stand anyone, yet everyone thinks the world of themselves!! The problem is always everyone else. We are never the bullies, or mean-spirited, or rude. Other people are! Here’s a thought: if you’re fighting with people on a Facebook hometown site? Trust me: It’s YOU. Let me repeat: IT IS YOU!!!

Sometimes, insight can be had by looking into one of these…


I feel for the Administrators of these sites. The Internet is a place where anyone can say whatever they want (this opinion, for example), and there are no rules. On my creative writing blog I’ve actually had to turn off the open comments section because anonymous people say nasty things, and I don’t want ignorant, curse filled rants littering my site because I can’t be there everyday to clean it up! These people (who are probably jealous of my astounding talent, right? jk!) would never, ever say these things if they weren’t anonymous, but if you’re saying nasty things undercover of anonymity, you are obviously bitter about something, and a coward to boot.   Try and figure out what is making you so sad: then fix it! Trolls write things on the  Internet like junior high-school kids on a dirty bathroom wall, and would be just as ashamed if they were found out.

It’s a Hard Blog Life!

Here’s another one:  If someone says they are glad they moved away, the locals get insulted. When the locals say they’re glad they stayed, the people who moved away start listing reasons moving is better. Soon, they’re  fighting about the weather! Literally and furiously!

Look! Enough with the weather crap! Chances are: If you have a great fall, you’ll have an insufferable winter. If you have a nice winter, you’ll have a sweltering summer. It’s six in one hand and half-a-dozen in the other. The bottom line is- it’s not even about weather, location, or taxes- it’s about your life decisions. Everyone wonders about the road not taken, and those ‘what if’ doubts are what cause these arguments in the first place!( Personally, I am comfortable in knowing that most of the decisions I’ve made, I would make again. Some worked out and some didn’t, but I always went with what seemed best at the time. This is probably true of most of us, so relax.)

Why can’t people understand that ONLY I live the world’s greatest place?

Finally: Everything from thirty years ago is deemed ‘so much better’ than the present on hometown sites.  Which, by the way- is so insulting to the younger generation. The older we get, the better we used to be, right? Does anyone think a kid with an I-phone and a computer wishes he or she grew up without one? Did we curse washing machines and dryers because we no longer had to slap our clothes against a rock by the river? Stop disrespecting the younger generations, and stop exaggerating about how great everything used to be. We weren’t on phones or computers because we didn’t have the option!!! It’s our youth we are mourning, not a geographical area or particular decade. Don’t be mad because the young have lots more time left on earth than you do. And the kids of today? They will someday be just as nostalgic about their hometown of NOW, as you are of yours from THEN!

So please- if you go to any of these sites,  have some respect, and act like the adults you are. Just like back in the day, when everything was so much better and we ‘used to have manners!’ Remember?

Funny how that works!

%d bloggers like this: