Hairy Pits and Stinky Breath: A Love Story

I love fiction.  Love to be immersed in a good book…or book series.  Love movies, especially horror films. I’m one of those people that will suspend disbelief over things like dinosaurs jumping through rifts in time, and massive pandemics killing off entire populations…

And yet I can’t quite seem to get through a show without nitpicking the little things.  I think about things that a lot of people either don’t consider, or choose not to consider.

Like, I love a good period piece just like most other people.  I totally got sucked into Game of Thrones, along with everyone else…

And yet those steamy and/or romantic sex scenes…

GOTclinch

Yeah, those…  All I can think of is how not only did hardly anyone have perfect, white teeth like they do in these shows, without modern dental care, most people were likely missing teeth, and what teeth they had were probably half rotten, and all bucked and twisted.  And can you imagine what their breath would be like?  I guess they had to ignore such things if they wanted to, you know, propagate the species.  But I’m betting there weren’t nearly so many passionate kisses or face-to-face close embraces as the writers of this type of story like to imagine.

250px-MaterCars

And if I’m lyin’, I’m cryin’!

I mean, I don’t know specifically what era Game of Thrones is set in, however if one were to infer anything from the clothing styles, type of ruling party, and customs, it could likely be anywhere between the 14th and 18th centuries.  Personal hygiene likely left a lot to be desired back then.  Apparently, people in medieval times actually did bathe quite often, and it wasn’t until the renaissance that people began to fear that frequent bathing might be “unhealthy.”  Often, only visible body parts were washed, and the remaining “odors” from infrequently bathed people were covered by perfumes and the like.  Now…without being too vulgar, you can just imagine which parts went unwashed.  And then we’re supposed to believe in hot, steamy, romantic sex???

But let’s set that aside for a moment.  Let’s focus on the visual aspect of hygiene.  We are always being told that “men are visual” creatures when it comes to sex, but I’d wager both women and men take for granted some of the anachronistic hygiene practices seen in most period pieces.  Like shaving.

Aside from dictates written by the Prophet Muhammad regarding  hygiene and codes of conduct for those of Muslim faith, historically speaking, cosmetic shaving/hair removal was not a widespread practice, and made its way to the West around 1915. (source)

Take these hot chicks for example;  I’m not picking on GOT specifically (hey, even I would probably bang Daenerys Targaryen); it just happens to suit my purposes as far as examples go.  I mean, people seem to be naked a lot in this particular period piece.

"I've got this unidentifiable lump right...here..."

“I’ve got this unidentifiable lump right…here.  DO you think it’s an ingrown hair?”

They’d likely have looked more like…

this :

(wikipedia)

(wikipedia)

TO be fair, this isn’t the only type of stuff I nitpick.  Having at least a small knowledge of criminal justice, I love  to pick apart police procedural dramas.  One of the biggest pieces of crap almost all of them try to sell is the idea that one small team personally goes through every step of crime solving, from collecting their own evidence, processing said evidence in their own lab, conducting often aggressive interviews with suspects and witnesses, and finally solving the crime and (in some cases) participating in the prosecution.

Likely I don’t have to tell most of you that not only is this not the case, it’s not really even feasible, let alone in the unusually short time span which these TV detectives clear their cases (a few days.)  Oh well.  I suppose if they portrayed it at the snail’s pace which some murder cases plod along, they’d lose viewers to comatose boredom.  Also, if they included the real number of people it likely takes to solve most crimes, viewers would not be able to keep track with, or more importantly, “bond” with the characters.  And that would never do since a lot of TV shows are successful, I would wager, because of the viewers’ attachments to certain characters.  So I just have to suspend my disbelief.  And it’s really not that big of a deal for me.  As I may have mentioned before. I really don’t ask for much when it comes to “entertainment” TV or films.  I just want to be immersed in a different kind of place for a short period of time and be…well, entertained.

So, what are some of your pet peeves when it comes to TV inaccuracies?

In Which I Comment About A Movie I Haven’t Yet Finished

Bored with your DVD collection?  Try watching a subtitled movie with a toddler.  You’ll likely get a different plot every time.  Last night hubby and I started watching The Sorcerer and the White Snake.  We’ve had this on our Netflix queue for a while and I figured it was just a typical Jet Li martial arts movie.  Don’t get me wrong, I like both Jet Li and martial arts movies, but I haven’t been in a martial arts movie mood lately.  But hubby put it on last night for a while, and although it’s definitely a challenge watching a movie that required actual reading of subtitles, I got the gist of most of the plot, just missed some convos between characters here and there.  But we never got to finish the movie, and who knows when we will…

images

In many ways this was a typical martial arts film, but it had a lot of Chinese mysticism thrown in there– talking animals and shape-changing demons– as if it were the most natural thing in the word.  Now for your entertainment (and my own,) I’ll extrapolate some possible “interpretations” of scenes from the movie… and, shockingly, virtually no spoilers.*

"We are having so much fun frolicking in this field!"

“We are having so much fun frolicking in this field!”

"You only want me for my body..."

“You only want me for my body…”

"Mmmm...it really does taste like chicken..."

“Mmmm…it really does taste like chicken…”

Now this scene…pretty easy really.

A look like this usually says one of two things: 1) I'm dying, or 2) I love you and I'm gonna suck your face off now.

A look like this usually says one of two things:
1) I’m dying, or
2) I love you and I’m gonna suck your face off now.

What about this one?

"Be gone, foul temptresses!"

“Be gone, foul temptresses!”

"Ooooh! Jet Li!  Can we get your autograph?!"

“Ooooh! Jet Li! Can we get your autograph?!”

"Mah bitches..."

“Mah bitches…”

And lastly…

"mmmmm...boobies..."

“mmmmm…boobies…”

So anyhoo…sorry I’ve been lazy with my posts and comments lately.  I’ll try to be better…maybe.  In the meantime, maybe check out this movie.  Maybe even watch it without the subtitles…

Humpday Food For Thought: Read This Book

I’ve had a couple things rattling around in the ol’ gulliver. One is this book.

Gulliver: a slang term used by the character “Alex” in the book A Clockwork Orange (by Anthony Burgess,) and later a movie by the same title directed by Stanley Kubrick. Russian/Gypsy “NADSAT” teenage vernacular.  (source) 

Yeah, I’m re-reading A Clockwork Orange.  For those of you who never have read Anthony Burgess novel from which Stanley Kubrick’s cult classic film was based, it’s definitely worth the read, if for no other reason than because the end of the movie is not the true end of the story.  The book is written from the point of view of the main character; it wouldn’t be appropriate to necessarily call him a “protagonist” in the traditional sense, because Alex is, at least initially, not a very sympathetic character.  He’s actually a sociopath juvenile delinquent.  Published in 1962, the novel is still surprisingly relevant.  The setting is some future, dingy, dystopic London, where gangs roam the streets with near impunity, especially at night.  Different age groups seem to have different slang, a language all their own almost, and the narrator is no exception.  While the seeming overabundance of essentially made up words is a bit overwhelming at first (there’s actually a glossary of Nadsat language included in the back of my copy of the book,) the reader eventually gets used to seeing certain terms repeated, and the definition of other Nadsat words may be gleaned from the context in which they’re used.  I think the use of this “language” is part of the reason for the book’s timelessness.  The fictional slang often takes the place of words that might otherwise date the material more.

The novel has three main parts, the first of which opens on Alex and his gang’s path of drugging, rape, and violence on a typical (for them) night in the city.  Supposedly inspired by actual events of violence and juvenile delinquency experienced by the author and his family, the novel is a scathing (and still very relevant) political text on the condition of youth violence and the idea of free will, with harrowing consequences.

Anyway…all of this amounts to… it’s a hell of a book and you should read it.

a-clockwork-orange_592x299

clockwork_big

Scooby Doo “Misogyny Incorporated”

I’ve always liked Scooby Doo cartoons.  Maybe the “spooky” plots appealed to my budding love of horror (as a child), or maybe I just had the same love of the ginormous and dopey Scooby that I imagine was pretty common.  And in it’s current incarnation Mystery Incorporated, I can enjoy a show that has survived, relatively unchanged, with my daughter.  

But maybe that’s the problem.  It is relatively unchanged.  Despite the more modern technology included in the newer episodes, and the added element of fairly shallow relationship drama between the characters, the same ol’ costumes the characters have always worn are not the only thing that is painfully retro about this show.

I'm always stoked to see the characters in anything besides their normal outfits, even if it is a stereotypically sexist situation like...ugh...the girls at a spa.

I’m always stoked to see the characters in anything besides their normal outfits…even if it is a stereotypically sexist situation.

Though featuring some pretty decent names in the voice cast– Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, Patrick Warburton as the recurring character, Sheriff Stone, Gary Cole, Vivica Fox, Francis Conroy, Tia Carrere, Jeff Bennett (animated voice actor heavy weight!), Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs!!!) and Casey Kasem (radio personality and the original Shaggy)– I’m a bit disappointed in Mystery Incorporated.

Hanna- Barbera, Warner Bros., and Cartoon Network had an opportunity here to not only revamp this old series, but to reel in a new generation of kids with trickier plots, smarter technology, and better role models…and they failed miserably.  I realize it’s just a cartoon, and but doesn’t the inclusion of an element of mystery sort of imply they want kids to be interested while they are entertained, and to think?  

Instead. what we got was the same old boring formula.  Sure, the some of the monsters may be a little more innovative, and the Scooby and “the gang” have more electronic toys available to them to help them on their way, but that’s pretty much the extent of the changes.  I realize the creators and producers likely want to stay sort of loyal to the originals; if they changed too much, the show might lose some of it’s nostalgic appeal for older viewers like me.  Playing devil’s advocate though, how many of today’s viewers really have any frame of reference in regards to the older Scooby shows??? Wikipedia is more generous in their assessment of the show, stating:

 […]the series takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the classic Scooby-Doo formula (similar to A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue!), with increasingly outlandish technology, skills and scenarios making up each villain’s story, and a different spin on the famous “meddling kids” quote at the end of every episode. Contrasting sharply with this, however, are two elements that have never been used in a Scooby-Doo series before: a serial format with an ongoing story arc featuring many dark plot elements that are treated with near-total seriousness, and ongoing relationship drama between the characters.

But what rankled me the most about the show is something that was probably present in the earlier shows as well, but was likely something I just didn’t pick up on as much in my younger days, and that is the overall superficiality of the characters and the reinforcement of cliquishness and stereotypes.

Daphne is the “pretty one.”  She’s a rich girl from a rich, snobby family, and she simpers over Fred as if being the object of his affection and attention her life’s dream.

And poor Velma.  She’s smart and she’s the techie of the group (if you discount Fred’s obsession with ridiculously elaborate traps.)   She’s curvy and wears her signature skirt, turtleneck, knee socks, and glasses…  And she is still alluded to as being the homely, nerdy, lonely, and even fat girl of the group.  Fat???  Since when is having boobs and a butt a bad thing?  Oh, right…in this country the “prettiest” women on our magazine covers are as narrow and devoid of curves as a twelve year old boy…  And everyone is subject to our scrutiny.

I forgot...this is America, so apparently, this is fat...

I forgot…this is America, so apparently, this is fat…

The other day I saw an episode about a villain that was performing some sort of love spell on people, resulting in immediate and random pairings of characters– just whoever they happened to be standing next to at the moment.  Granted, it was always a perfectly even ratio of male to female characters– no sexually ambiguous pairings on this show!–  But that didn’t stop Daphne from pointing out,  in a shocked and appalled voice, the fact that “nerds” and “cool people” were suddenly in love!  Eeek! The humanity!

There’s another character on the show named Marcie Fleach.  Her nickname is “hot dog water.”  It made me giggle at first…until the characters went on to characterize her;  she’s smart… but she’s rumpled and messy looking, and she allegedly smells like “recycled water used to cook hot dogs.”  In short, she’s the class freak, and she’s portrayed with in the same “ugly betty” way as Velma (basically, if they didn’t tell you she was supposed to be ugly, you probably wouldn’t think it.)  I know I’m not the first person to notice the way “smart” people are always categorically considered “ugly.”

Ugly Betties

Ugly Betties

Those of you who are regular readers know that I’m not generally in the habit of making mountains out of mole hills, but for some reason, this annoys the piss out of me.  If I really think about it, it’s probably because this type of categorization is so adolescent.  It’s introducing our young children to “the IN-crowd,” teaching kids that it’s normal and okay to ostracize people based on how they look.  It’s reinforcing immature stereotypes that start in elementary school and (more and more frequently lately) result in bullying and violence in high school.

I’m not trying to be all chicken little here.  The sky’s not falling, or anything because of this stupid kid’s show.  I just basically don’t like snobby people or bullies.  That kind of behavior is not something I want my daughter to learn, pigeon-holing people into groups (which are then basically judged as worthy or not worthy of inclusion.)

What do you think, gentle readers?

No Disrespect But…To Be Honest…

A lot of people like to think they know other people, that they’re adept at detecting deception and above being fooled.  I always cringe when people recite that drivel about how people’s eyes move “up and to the right” for the truth and “down and to the left” for a lie, or whatever they say it is.  I remember very clearly when I was in college, one of my psychology professors telling the class that this was patently false.  Directionality of gaze was not so much the issue; rather a person averting their gaze in general, or being unable to look someone else in the eyes, could signify deception.

Then again, it could signify a lot of things; distraction, feelings of inadequacy or shyness, feelings of guilt (unrelated to lying.)  Plus, anyone who’s ever been done dirty by a spouse or best friend could probably tell you it’s completely possible for a person to look you square in the eyes and lie to your face.

Of course, I’m digressing, as usual.  The point is, a lot of the so-called clues to detecting when someone is lying to you, seem, in my opinion, vague and unable to be extrapolated to the majority of people with enough accuracy to be conclusive.  That may read like a mouthful, but all I really mean is that these “tells” don’t occur with enough consistency or reliability to be useful in most situations.  There are too many variables, and unless you are the type of person who likes to take chances with your relationships, you don’t want to accuse someone you care about of lying unless you’re damn sure.

Perfect example;  I’ve seen it mentioned before that people who qualify their statements with remarks like “To tell you the truth,” “Frankly,” and “To be honest,” are actually unconsciously cuing you to the fact that they are about to lie to you.

Am I the only person, then, that regularly uses those expressions…and then proceeds to do exactly that– tell the truth?  I can’t speak for everyone, but when I use that phrase, it usually means that what I’m about to tell you will either seem A) surprising/unexpected coming from me, or B) that what I am about to say is going to be the truth, but perhaps an unpleasant truth.  

Anyway, I’m definitely not disputing that there are often physiological and physical signs present when a person is lying.  However, I think these signs need to be taken in context.  The fact that lie detector tests are not considered reliable or accurate enough to be used in court should be at least some indication that many of these signs of deception are not consistent enough between subjects to be 100% reliable.  I would guess that some indicators are also more accurate than others.  For instance, involuntary reactions like pupil dilation and micro-expressions would likely be a more reliable indicator of deception than a turn of phrase, such as “To tell the truth,” the use of which is subjective depending on the speaker.  (For instance, perhaps that phrase was used frequently throughout the speaker’s childhood by his mother, and thus is a learned mannerism and has no bearing on deception.)

I’m sure there are people out there like Dr. Cal Lightman in Lie to Me* (I think they’re called poker players)and I have great admiration for people with that skill set.  But I doubt there are many of us regular Joes that can do what Cal does.  I’d wager that individually, how effective each of us is as a human lie detector will depend, in one part, on how much we know our subject, and in another part, how observant and aware we are of other people in general.

1786-1

Tangential to that topic, I’ve heard it said that people who preface their opinions with “No offense intended,” “No disrespect,” or some similar sentiment, are in fact, about to insult you.

This is another blanket statement with which I disagree.  It may be true that a lot of people use this phrase as a passive aggressive way to take a jab at someone, but–and again, I’ll only speak for myself here– when I say “No disrespect,” it is often when I know my opinion is directly contradictory to the other persons’s, or when there seems to be no way to stand behind my point without seeming combative.  It’s been my experience that some people become almost automatically defensive and even hostile when confronted with an opinion that is very different from their own.  Some people take it as a personal affront.  If you don’t believe me, scroll through your Facebook wall.  I’m sure you’ll eventually find at least one ridiculously hostile argument over politics, religion, sports, or something even less significant.

Anyway, as usual, I’ve sort of taken a short post and gotten way too analytical about it.  Thanks for bearing with me and my rambling.

And if  you don’t like it, No disrespect, But to be Honest...fuck you.  (Just kidding…sort of.)

Police and the Use of Force

Watching a little more mindless entertainment on Netflix.  Crossing Jordan.  I love crime dramas, and I watch a lot of different ones, (much to my husband’s dismay.) But it’s interesting to me how often this so-called “mindless entertainment” actually leads to thought provoking…er…thoughts.

So this particular episode of Crossing Jordan deals with an alleged cop killer who dies in police custody.  (*I say alleged because there is no question in the scope of the show that the suspect did kill a cop, in real life he is of course presumed innocent until trial.)  Upon examination by the coroner  it’s discovered that the suspect has petechial hemorrhages in his eyes, which although possibly indicative of many things, often indicates strangulation.  Upon opening his head, it’s discovered he has a bruise on his brain, basically the result of hitting his head/being hit in the head so hard that his brain slaps against the inside of his skull.  Though he is alive when apprehended, he dies sometime during transit to the station and is instead taken to a hospital.

There is pressure from all sides to either discover or cover up what happened.  There’s a coroner’s inquest.

In the end it is revealed that one of the arresting officers did indeed kneel on the suspect’s back to (in his own words) maintain control of the situation.  The suspect was, according to the officer, acting erratic (as if on drugs), and was also quite large (6’4″,) and a known* cop killer.  It is implied that perhaps a stranglehold was used to subdue the suspect, something that is against police policy, according to a senior officer.  There were no drugs found in the suspect’s blood, so again it is suggested excess force was used.

Eventually, it is discovered that the brain injury sustained by the deceased suspect occurred three days before the arrest (essentially around the time the suspect killed the officer victim.)  Not only is the injury the cause of the suspect’s erratic behavior, but likely contributed to his death in custody.

And as often happens, a TV drama leads hubby and I into a serious discussion:   Why is it against police policy to use force?

I know a lot of people mistrust cops.  I know a lot of people hate cops.  Lastly, and most importantly, I know there are bad cops.  However, I have immense respect for cops.  You may not trust them, or like them, but chances are, if you’re in trouble or need help, you will call them. And you expect them to come, and to protect you.  So why do you expect them to do this, essentially without being allowed to use force to defend themselves?  There is necessary force, and unnecessary force, but in a given situation, it has to be up to the persons involved to decide what is necessary.

Sadly, incidents like the Rodney King incident in 1991 taint the reputation of the police force and have far reaching and damaging repercussions on police procedure.   And with suspects able to file even illegitimate claims against officers for brutality, police officers are daily in situations where they may face bodily injury or death if they run across the wrong suspect, but face inquest, job loss, and possible criminal charges for using “excessive force” to defend themselves.

Am I alone in feeling that if a person violently resists arrest, tries to harm an officer (either intentionally or due to drugs or mental instability) that an officer should be able to use force to defend themselves and keep themselves and their partner safe, even as a preemptive measure?

Am I the only one who feels like most people know that cops have guns and can use lethal force if a weapon is waved at them, and consequently, if a suspect becomes violent or resists, it’s their own damn fault if they get their ass kicked or killed?  To be clear, I’m not advocating cops beating on people for no reason, or using excessive force on non-violent offenders, or in any way taking advantage of their position of authority, but I do believe we expect police to do a generally dangerous and thankless job for relatively little pay, and we should give them the benefit of the doubt in most situations where force is necessary.

I don’t know much about the supposed blue wall.  I’m sure it does exist in some departments, among some cops.  But is it at all possible that if those officers felt safer in their jobs, and felt as if they were backed up by the law in cases where force was required, they might not need to “cover” for one another in some cases?

In conclusion, these are just my personal thoughts and feelings as related to police– they’re not backed by statistics or science, that I know of.  But since police are essentially civil servants with whom virtually everyone has either tangential or direct contact at some point in their lives, I figure we are all entitled at least to an opinion (as I’ve said before, opinions are one of the only true rights humans really do have!)

Police Brutality?  Bitch, please!

Police Brutality? Bitch, please!

Kardio Karaoke?

I love to sing.  I have a special relationship with my music and love to sing along with my favorite songs…and even some not-so-favorite songs.  If I know the words, any song may be fair game.  It’s almost a compulsive thing; when in the car, I often feel compelled to sing along with the radio– not necessarily every song, but, you know, enough to annoy anyone who may not enjoy my singing.  For my part, I have sung in a couple of bands and while I’m no Grace Slick or Amy Lee, I’ve been told I can carry a tune, so hubby tells me it’s not too awfully painful when I sing along.  My kid seems to like it when I sing her favorite songs, if that “mom’s gone batshit” look she gives me is any indication.  For a while, hubby and I would always sing along with that 5 Hour Energy commercial on Hulu.  You know, the one with the guy recording…

“his de-but al-bum…”  

It got to the point where when that commercial came on and that part came up, my daughter would look at us in anticipation of our goofiness.

I generally don’t sing in the shower; in fact, I rarely sing in the absence of accompanying music unless a song is really stuck in my head.  But I’ve been known to sing ~gulp~ Karaoke.

And I sometimes sing while I exercise…which is no mean feat if you’re working at all hard.   So I got curious…   Are there any health benefits to singing while you exercise?  I mean, obviously, your timing has to be pretty good to run (or other cardio), breath, and sing at the same time, right.  Like walking and chewing gum?  Okay, maybe not like that.  According to Livestrong.com:

During 20 minutes of singing, a person who weighs 150 lbs. burns about 34 calories if sitting down, or 45 calories if singing while standing up, according to CaloriesPerHour.com.

However, while singing alone will not burn beaucoup calories, it is beneficial to your health in other ways.

As you may have found out for yourself, if you’re a fellow beltway belter or karaoke night killer, singing can help to relieve stress, improve your mood, and lower your heart rate and blood pressure.  Singing also gives your lungs and diaphragm a workout because it involves respiratory muscle exertion and deep and open breathing. (source)

According to an ezine article by Judy Rodman, physical exercise is vital to vocal stamina, and conversely, people who sing correctly will notice they become physically tired, because singing correctly uses the big muscles of your core and minimizes incorrect over-use of the little muscles of your throat.However, according to Enliven Magazine, singing while you workout you may be hurting your weight loss efforts.  According to this article, if you can belt it out while you’re exercising, you may not be working out hard enough (reaching your target heart rate.)  I have heard it similarly said that if you can talk while you workout, you’re not doing it right.  FOr me personally, I don’t sing continuously while I exercise, rather I belt out a few favorite lines sporadically, and usually not during my high intensity intervals. What do you think, gentle readers?And, no…that’s not me.

 

ARQ’s Modern Solutions to Old Skool Problems

I’m feeling a little grouchy today.  Yes, more than usual.  The day is only half way over but my bullshit-o-meter is full up of toddler attitude and Facebook know-it-alls.  I think I need a nap.  But since that’s not an option at the moment, I’ll drink some old coffee, vape off my e-cig, and try to write something half-way humorous to pull me outta this little funk.

Thus, I give you…  some modern solutions (that are likely safer/more PC) to some old school problems.  No, I’m not talking about boring shit, like my e-cig.  I’m talking about real issues, here.

Like werewolves, for instance. People have been dealing with werewolf infestations since before you could say hypertrichosis.”  Traditionally, the solutions have been a little dangerous…and messy.  Wolfsbane?  Come on, wolves are carnivores!  Piercing the hands of the werewolf with nails?  How...Judeo-Christian.  There are apparently other less violent, lesser known ways of dealing with lycanthropes as well, such as one German method whereby a werewolf is cured by speaking it’s Christian name to it three times.  Well, that’s just a little bit religion-biased, I think.  Not to mention, I’m guessing it’s not so effective, or we might have heard about it more often.  My guess is the first few dudes to yell any name at a werewolf became Scooby snacks in pretty short order.  And as  to silver bullets, who’s rich enough to just have loads of silver lying around???

A much more humane and modern solution the problem would be the use of shock collars– nice, non-lethal, non-biased, non-costly werewolf control.  Simply snap the collar on the alleged shape-shifter while he’s in his human form (this part is very important!), and keep the control with you at all times.

Where else can we apply some more modern solutions to the problems that plagued our ancestors?  I’m glad you asked.  How about poltergeists?

Poltergeists  have traditionally been described as troublesome spirits who, unlike ghosts, haunt a particular person instead of a specific location. (wikipedia)

One theory behind poltergeist disturbances is that they are actually manifestations of emotional distress brought on by an (unwitting) human, most often a child or teenager, and often a female.  In the 1982 film Poltergeist, it is suggested that more than one spirit is responsible for the “haunting” of the Freelings’ home, and that there is one demon in particular who has targeted young Carol Ann in an attempt to gain control over the multitude.

I maintain that in either case, the solution is simple.  Give that little bitch some Lithium!  (I’m sorry, she’s the victim here, too, isn’t she?)  Well, either way, she’ll be too busy twitching in the corner to cause much trouble– the demon can’t use her for anything, and her emotions will be so blunted that any poltergeist “disturbances” will be a thing of the past (along with fine motor control…)

Poltergeist movie

One more freebie for the day… I might have to consider charging for the rest.  I can’t do everything for you people!  Let’s talk about demon possession.  Think The Omen.  Think Linda Blair in The Exorcist.  Now you could call a priest.  But then you’ll have to pick up the house, hide all the porn, and likely listen to a bunch of literal bible thumping for half the night.  Not to mention the dry-cleaning bill for all that pea-soup vomit, and the structural damage to your home.

The solution is actually so much simpler.  These kids are really nothing more than out-of-control, attention-seeking brats.  And what do we do with out-of-control, attention-seeking brats in America?  Why, we reward them with their own reality TV show or spot on a talk show!  They want attention; let’s give it to them!  They can duke it out with one another on Jerry Springer, or go to “demon” rehab at the Sober House!

And if that doesn’t work , you can always try the Lithium or the shock collar.

Today on Jerry Springer, kids who are inhabited by the devil!

Today on Jerry Springer, kids who are inhabited by the devil!

Is “That Kind of Language” Really Necessary?

Those of you who are faithful followers, or who know me personally, know that I am something of a potty mouth.  I could give you examples, or mention all the variations of the title question I’ve heard, but that’s not really what the this post is about.

Today, I finished another Dean Koontz novel, The Funhouse.  Despite Koontz’s tendency to include thinly veiled moral/religious connotations in most of his work, and his even more irritating tendency to overdo it on the metaphorical descriptives, I do like his stories.  The Funhouse, one of his older novels and based off another author’s screenplay, is in my opinion, one of his more entertaining pieces.

But what really struck me was a passage from the “new” afterword.  The novelization was originally penned in 1980 (a year before I was born, incidentally,) and the language is gritty and (to me) realistic to a bunch of rebel teens from the ’80’s.  Koontz had this to say in his newest afterword written this year.

If I were to write the novelization […] today, I’d leave out most or all of the explicit language, since I’ve learned it’s always a crutch and that it diminishes rather than enlivens virtually any story.

I immediately took issue with this statement.  To be sure, I am picky about my writing, and critical about the writing in the books I read.  For instance, Patricia Cornwell is an extremely popular crime novelist who has sold more than 100 million copies of her novels.  And I don’t like her.  Sure, her stories are fine, but I find her writing style so irritating that I just don’t buy her books.  I can’t recall specifics because it’s been a while since I read anything of hers, but I seem to remember her as one of those authors that feels like she has to “explain” everything to audience, to the point where it causes the dialogue between characters to sound disingenuous and phony.

Which brings me to my point.  One of the major things that determines a novel’s success is the ability of the audience to relate to and care about the characters.  Nothing detracts from that faster than a disingenuous character or one who does not seem realistic.  While I concede that there are people that don’t use profanity, and writers who may eschew the use of it in their work, I believe it is a writer’s job to be true to their characters.  If their characters are typical 80’s teens, as in The Funhouse, they more than likely swear at least a little.  Even if there is a token “good girl” or “mama’s boy” in there somewhere, more than likely, the rest will curse at least a bit and more than possibly like sailors.

Nothing is more irritating than to hear (read) a character tip-toe around bad words, or worse, substitute lesser exclamations as if they were the most natural thing in the world.  “Oh, crap.”

Anyway, I just think, as successful as Koontz is, on this point, he’s…well, wrong.

What do you think, my fellow writers and book worms?

profanity

profanity (1)

What Has Happened to the “News?”

I’ll admit I like a quirky or interesting story as much as the next person.  Today, I was reading a Huffington Post article about a woman who had her gym membership revoked after breaking the “no cell phones” rule one too many times. I’ll even admit I commented, or rather, replied to a few comments.  I just really can’t stand it when people think it’s okay to annoy and inconvenience others around them with their cell habits (or any habits) just because it’s convenient for them.

But then I realized…this is not news.  As one person succinctly summed up in the comments, So what.  Go to another gym. Why is this news?  I mean, the article was just reporting, not an editorial.  It wasn’t written from a specific standpoint, like an admonishment to not be a dick while on your cell phone, and the subject is not exactly something that raises awareness in others.  The lady broke the rules, she got kicked out.  No injustice there.  End of story.

And then I thought back to some recent discussions hubby and I had about the same thing.  Featured television news stories on Kate Middleton’s “baby bump,” while a tiny ticker tape at the bottom of the screen noted people killed overseas and accidents and whatnot…you know…relevant news.

It’s pretty disgusting actually.  I know most don’t want to see bad news and horror and death all the time for a while. I stopped logging in to my AOL mail for a while because literally every day, it seemed like there was a new case of child abuse or family annihilation in the news.  But that doesn’t mean our “happy” news pieces have to be a fluff and no substance.

As much darkness as there is in the world, there is also great people doing kind things, and plenty of “feel good” stuff that merits more recognition than Kim Kardashian getting fat or Kate Middletons “baby belly.”

A dog that saves some soldiers from a Taliban bomb.  A bunch of volunteers rescuing 900 dogs from poor conditions.  Or maybe check out these child philanthropists…

The sad thing is, most of the time, you actually have to dig for these types of stories, whereas all the daily bullshit of stupid people is readily available as soon as you open any search engine home page  (ex),whether you want to see it or not.

And a lot of us are reading this shit.  I do it sometimes too…   Please give me something better to read…or at the very least, confine the gossipy, Hollywood bullshit to just a small headline or a tiny ticker tape at the bottom of the TV screen.  Americans need to readjust their priorities and perspectives, and maybe some of them need a little help seeing what is really important.

My first quick meme...I'm so proud...~sniff~

My first quick meme…I’m so proud...~sniff~

And as usual, my girl over at B(itch) Log is on the same wavelength:  http://heatherchristenaschmidt.com/2013/03/04/can-i-have-your-autograph/