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Must Have

My dears, my darlings, words cannot describe how much I NEED this Samurai Generals Sword Set. It would be a glorious jewel in my “Ugly Stuff” crown. I could photograph me with a sword in each hand when I wear that tutu you were going to buy me.

Later, we’ll talk about my “Ugly Stuff” thing. In a nutshell, I have excellent tastes, which I like to offend from time to time by having something truly ugly around to look at.

April 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Picture Post #59

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April 27, 2012 Posted by | Photo | | Leave a comment

When it becomes too much

So the last two days, while I was bitching about the flaws in I, Robot, Syd has been telling me other Asmoiv books I should read instead. It’s not even that the book was entirely valueless, although the streak of sexism put me off mightily. She hasn’t offered up much defense for the book, choose to deflect my criticism with lines like “Product of his times” and “He got better about that, he really did get better.” The problem is, I’m not sure I care. The writing was dry and the stories were just thought experiments, answering questions no one asked. It’s not encouraging.

She’s trying to claim that she told me to start with Caves of Steel, but I recall that she told me the books go in order and if you start in the wrong place you won’t know what’s going on. There is a published order and a chronological order as I understand it, and if you try to read chronological first, you will get confused. So I started at the beginning, which is often the best place to start anyway. However, I can accept that this is just the wrong book to start with and I’ll give him one more try before I declare him anathema and punch anyone I happen meet with muttonchops just in hopes of getting my feelings to him.

That’s not what I really want to talk about though, what I want to talk about is the “product of his times” thing. I don’t buy that, and I don’t tolerate it. People try to hide behind that, saying we mustn’t judge past works by today’s standards, to which I say bullshit. Either a writer transcends their time or they don’t. I’m never asked to make excuses for Dashiell Hammett, nor do I ever feel compelled to. He’s either a profane or acceptable as he is. In some cases, the profanity is the point, in some cases it’s merely a side issue. Of course it’s entirely possible that I excuse or ignore the annoying things because I get into the story. His works are engaging, while works that aren’t engaging me have a greater tendancy to have elements that annoy me.

On that same point, but slightly different, Edgar Allan Poe was a flat out misogynist. Sure, when you peruse his selected works it hardly comes out, but look deeper and you’ll see it. Read A Predicament sometime and you uncover not just a humor piece, but also a deep dislike for women writers. Keep reading his works and you find someone with a serious problem with women. Sometimes worshipful, sometimes violent, never healthy. He can usually keep that out of most his stories though, normally by ignoring women entirely, so his issue is rarely brought up. When it is though, it ruins the whole story.

There comes a point where a writer just looses me because of some of his or her foibles and prejudices. There comes a point where I am hyper sensitive to those things and each time they come up, it will ruin the book for me and make me set it down. These can kill a book, or even the idea of ever reading that author. Quite often, it will turn me off them forever. Mainly because there are so many things to read, watch, and do that I find my time limited and I don’t wish to spend it being pissed off at shitty writing.

Stephen King is a good example. No matter how much I once liked his work, when he gets going I can no longer read him. I’ve tried to go back and read some of his stuff lately, and it’s just not happening. I can no longer read him, because his things keep jumping out at me. The last couple of attempts, its been one thing. It’s why I just stopped dead on Full Dark, No Stars and why I just decided not to finish The Stand and it’s the reason I cannot stand what is supposed to be his best novel “IT” one little bit.

Oddly, it comes down to one word. Continue reading

April 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Trees are made of wood, Bob.

Been reading an old sci-fi book this week, actually listening to it.

I have eye strain from listening to this book, my eyes rolled that much and that hard.

Badly missed tech trends, sexism is still okay, thinly veiled everything. I really hate the last one. Guys with half their faces painted black and the other half white embarrassed me as a child. To this day, I’ve never been able to watch that episode. Every time a sci-fi story does that whole “See, we’re saying it’s about this, but REALLY it’s about that” I’m reminded of a fantasy of mine.

I always wanted an episode of Star Trek where Data says something like, “It’s much like the situation in the American South when whites owned blacks as slaves.” And then Riker would turn to him and say “Yeah, we worked that out, what with not being stupid and all. Look, metal boy, go stand in the corner and explain to the wall how you’re a Pinocchio analogy. I’ve got work to do over here.” There’s room for analogy, but Sci-Fi never really trusts its audience enough and has to make it so much more blatant and obvious. And why? Sci-Fi readers are, in my experience, smarter than most the people around them, why not trust them?

You know what is really annoying me about trying to read I, Robot? The sheer number of times people quoted the laws of robotics to each other. I mean, these are supposed to be so basic they’re on page one of every book including How to Build a Better Dildo, and yet they constantly quote them off to each other like the person they’re talking to has never heard of them. It would be like me trying to explain that trees burn. “No, you can’t use a blow torch to melt that tree because trees are made of wood Bob. TREES ARE MADE OF WOOD!”

Now imagine that, stated over and over again and you begin to see my frustration.

Yeah, I know it’s actually a collection of short stories, doesn’t make it any less of a shitty read. Doesn’t leave me not thinking that there were 57 different ways to convey that information besides saying “Trees are made of wood” over and over again.

Ah fuck it. Time to go listen to some other story where women aren’t either idiotically flighty housewives or stone cold bitches who only got jobs because they couldn’t land a man. I just don’t have time for this bullshit.

April 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment