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Open Thread 3

May 1, 2009


  1. May 1, 2009 5:33 pm

    About the swine flu, –it reminds me of manufactured hysteria.

    I wish the non-story story of Miss California would go away. Perez Hilton is a jerk. I don’t trust a male’s motive when he is supposedly calling a woman out on her bigotry. It is currently going on with some female cartoonist. It just seems telling how the venom slung at a woman’s bigotry is always so much more severe than the venom slung (or not slung) at many men’s bigotry that happens daily.

    I am reading The Flame Trees of Thika, and so far it is very good. Unlike that horrible The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr. That was time wasted.

  2. May 1, 2009 6:37 pm

    Hey so I read Liar’s Club years ago and am curious why you hated it?

    • May 1, 2009 8:19 pm

      I read it too, many years ago for a college class on nonfiction writing. I liked it at the time … what didn’t you like about it, Kitty?

      Also, yes, Perez asked Miss California that question just for attention, and she didn’t win the crown, so it should be a non-story.

    • May 1, 2009 10:55 pm

      I no longer have the book so I can not back anything up with a passage, and the book got on my nerves so much that my rambling may not be coherent. Certainly, not in order.

      The biggest reason I could not stand The Liars Club is because I believe most of it was a lie. Not outlandish lies, or even white lies. White lies are often used to cover up for something; Karr just lied about trivial nonsense. Reading it felt like I was forced to sit in a waiting room next to a liar that would not shut up. FTR, I am very familiar with that part of SE Texas. And I’ve known many people who’ve perpetuate some of the lies she told. Such as when she said her sister Lecia cleaned so often than she practically stood at attention waiting for ashes to drop from her parent’s cigarettes. I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard that story told by some one talking about some supposedly committed housekeeper (a woman), yet, never, actually knew such a robot. Then the whole scrappy kid thing. That area is/was so oppressive/suppressive that a scrappy kid just had to illustrate her scrappiness once or twice and she would have been bullied/beaten/threatened into submission, by her parents (drunk or not, absent or not), neighbors, and school officials. A girl-child was not going to climb in a tree and shoot a family with a BB gun, –maybe once, but no more. And the absence of blatant racism, I cannot buy. The racism in that area is beyond subtle, it is out and out.

      In addition, I hated her writing technique, the incessant need to describe every single detail that had absolutely nothing what so ever to do with the plot, not as if she was describing it for what was currently happening or later on in the story. Like, “I grab my half-moon ivory colored compact.” It just went on and on. I understand descriptive language periodically for sentence variety and some spice, but in every sentence? NO! It feels like 2/3 of the book could have been chopped out and it could have just been a longish short story.

      Also, there was a laziness that I detested, for instance, she said how horrible it must be for a grandmother to die of cancer at 50. Before that, she said her mother was old to have children, being 30. So when the grandmother came to stay (to die, which took 18 months), the children were 9 & 7, which would mean the mother was 39, which would mean the grandmother had her at 11. Not impossible, but highly improbably seeing the image and wealth she accumulated. In addition, I don’t believe Karr’s mother’s first husband and his mother simply took the children and cleaned out the apartment all in one day when the mother was at work. So, for no other reason, except possibly because she was working for the war effort, a husband and his mother steals two children away from their mother and leave the state. Again, it is possible and happens now all the time, but to make it ring truth, there needed to be a some story behind it.

      Which brings me to how Karr goes on and on about her father, which, I am afraid to say, he is/was no more than an average hard working southeastern Texas redneck, —nothing more, nothing less. Now, that is not meant disparagingly, —his life is just not story worthy (at least not what Karr revealed wasn’t). And all of that beating up people. Ugh.

      On the other hand, her mother is story worthy, but Karr only gave her some half-ass bits here and there (drinking, fucking men, popping pills, being all around irresponsible with money, an inheritance) (typical frustrated artistic suppressed/oppressed housewife trope without much depth) and then rushed her full story (the juicy stuff) in the last five pages of the book. When her mother and father divorced (the first time), Karr excused her father 100% and blame all of his actions (or lack of) on the times. By the way, the way she and her sister were supposedly on the wrong plane, ending up in Mexico and then on a crop duster back to Port Arthur, —I don’t believe, at all.

  3. Polly Styrene permalink
    May 1, 2009 7:23 pm

    The Miss California thing seems like a complete non story to me. It’s like ‘Christian beauty queen says what you’d expect her to’. I am inclining to a plague on both their houses. If she dreaded being asked about gay marriage why choose Hilton to ask her a question? And Hilton is misogynist yes, but we should have been able to tell that anyway from the fact he was judging a beauty contest…..

  4. May 2, 2009 1:59 am

    Joan, did you feel that 4.4?

  5. unmarrieddaughter permalink
    May 2, 2009 2:16 am

    At the risk of silencing women, I am going to throw this out there, but my first reaction to the whole beauty queen debacle was this, “who the hell cares what a woman who has been brainwashed by the patriarchy to think, “no really, it’s about the scholarships, honey, but while you are at it, could you wear the red suit instead of the white, it just shows off your flat stomach better” says about gay marriage? Second thought, ditto on the misogynistic gay male who spends all his time ripping down women who don’t follow the patriarchal fascist beauty standard/sex standards. Then, I immediately thought, “well, she is a woman and does deserve to speak whatever the hell she wants with out me trying to tell her shut up, more or less. Of course, I am also the one who was sent home from work for saying in the break room during a discussion of Oprah’s weight and fashion, and clothing that doesn’t fit women, “that’s what you get when you let misgoynistic gay men and 45 year old men who secretly desire to frack their 12 year old daughters be in charge of what women should wear.” Some thoughts might be better in my head than out sometimes.

    Never read either book currently being discussed. but did get Misnomer Murder in Netflix today because I saw it on your blog Miss Kitty, and when I read the blurb in Netflix thought, hmm, I like British things, I probably would like this one too.

    I am reading simultaneously, Women in the Fatherland, Women, Mothers, and Nazis,(butchering the title somewhat) by Claudia Koonz,(I think that is the author, and am too lazy to get out of bed and check) and Quiverfull by Kathrn Joyce. I am trying really hard to not channel my inner Godwin, but wow, it’s amazing how similar Nazi women and the Titus 2/quiverfull women are in thought processes, theology, and theory.

    I have a slight cold with hacking cough, it is making throat raw, and my ribs sore from coughing. I might have to break down and see the doctor, a thing I try to rarely do because I have a 8,000 deductible, and really only try to see the doctor when I am dead. Ignoring everyone who is telling me it’s Swine Flu. I swear I hate the media for this overblown coverage, a simple cold is not the freaking swine flu.

    • May 2, 2009 3:40 am

      Oooh, you must tell me which episode of Midsomer Murders you have (don’t expect anything feminist out of it though, I am sorry to say, but no rapes). I hope you have an episode that makes a good first impression. I know there are few I would not recommend for first time viewing because they could be considered a little dull. Rosemary & Thyme is another good series (both women). I’ve seen the whole set, —it was not as big as I wish it to be. I also just finished the whole Miss Marple set, or I should say the Miss Marple set featuring Geraldine McEwan. I love her.

      Yes, the whole gay-male-sexist pig and patriarchal beauty queen was just not worth deconstructing in my opinion. But, I have to say after a few days, I was really like, “get the fuck off her tit already.” It is as if how dare she regurgitate what she was trained to regurgitate, but oh no’s she must regurgitate to two masters with opposing agendas yet both are equally misogynistic.

      Sorry about your illness, unmarried daughter. Good luck.

    • keen permalink
      May 2, 2009 4:17 am

      I saw Rosemary & Thyme a while back and wish there were more shows like it. The creator (Simon Brett) writes a book series with a different set of characters, but a similar two-women-solving-mysteries-together dynamic. The first book is the Body on the Beach.

  6. May 2, 2009 8:31 pm

    Kitty – thanks for the explanation about Liar’s Club, that made me laugh in some parts because it never occurred to me that some of the stuff I loved about it could be so grating to another person.

    And no, I didn’t feel the earthquake! I always fucking miss them if they happen while I’m standing instead of sitting, and I was standing right at that second. I heard it though, the building I was in (at work) did a brief rumble-shake. Sounded like an exceptionally big cat running across the roof actually.

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